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Sinn Féin comment as unionist paramilitaries flee Westland

3 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast Kathy Stanton has said that nationalists in the area would be greatly alarmed at reports from a Protestant Minister that the Westland estate was last night awash with armed loyalists.

Ms Stanton said:

"Nationalists care little that one wing of the UDA has exerted its control over another section of the UDA in North Belfast. Nationalists care little that one group of sectarian gangsters has departed Westland only to be replaced by another.

"People across society will however be greatly alarmed by reports from a Protestant Minister involved in mediating in the latest UDA dispute, that the Westland estate was last night awash with heavily armed loyalists. The PSNI were also present in Westlands last night, yet predictably there have been no arrests or no weapons seized.

"There will be a genuine fear now amongst nationalists in areas like North Belfast that the weapons on the streets last night will now be directed back towards vulnerable Catholics. In the past the end of internecine unionist feuds have resulted in attacks against Catholics their homes and businesses." ENDS

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