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Silence from Paisley on Seawright revelations not an option

25 August, 2006

West Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Fra McCann today said that people were waiting for Ian Paisley to publicly clarify his relationship with the UVF after the revelations that former DUP Assembly member and Belfast City Councillor George Seawright was a member of that paramilitary organisation.

Mr McCann said:

"Nationalists and republicans continue to wait for a public statement from Ian Paisley clarifying his relationship with the UVF after it emerged that former DUP Belfast City Councillor and Assembly member George Seawright was a member of that organisation. It is not credible to suggest that if this was any other party or party leader that the media would not be demanding answers.

"Over the course of recent years nationalists and republicans have had to listen to Ian Paisley of all people lecturing our community on democracy. This after building a political career on defending sectarianism, discrimination and inequality.

"Last week the DUP proposed a motion at the Preparation for Government committee demanding an end to paramilitary organisations. Now let us see their commitment to achieving this. Let them use the long established and documented links with unionist paramilitary organisations to deliver an end to paramiltarism and criminality from within that community. Staying silent on this issue will simply not work. Nationalists are now watching Ian Paisley‚s next move closely." ENDS

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