UVF link to hate crimes 'unchallenged'

Published Monday, 12 May 2014
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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has launched a stinging attack on unionist politicians over their response to recent racist attacks in east Belfast.

The Sinn Féin MLA blamed elements within the UVF and the Orange Order for the violence.

Speaking in the Assembly on Monday, Mr McGuinness said: "I have made it crystal clear in the course of recent times that a lot of the violence that's been going on in Belfast has been orchestrated by elements within the UVF and with some assistance from the Orange Order."

He went on to say no-one has challenged his claims, adding: "I note that on a number of occasions when I have been at this dispatch box, not one member from the unionist benches has had the courage to challenge my assertion that the UVF and Orange Order are responsible."

Gregory Campbell, DUP, responded: "I suppose that everyone, both inside and outside the chamber, will unite in condemning all attacks, whomever they are enacted on and whoever carries them out.

"Will the deputy First Minister not agree that his condemnation, unequivocal as it is, would carry more weight if he were to own up in an open and transparent manner to all the hate crimes that he engaged in when he was in the IRA?"

Last month Mr McGuinness made similar comments when petrol bombs were thrown at the Alliance Party's constituency office on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast.

He said the response from unionists to the actions of loyalist paramilitaries was "inadequate".

The attack was condemned by parties from across the political spectrum.

Police have recorded a 40% rise in the number of racist attacks taking place in the past year with the vast majority happening in Belfast.

These have included attacks on a number of homes and assaults on individuals. In one instance a Romanian cyclist had faeces thrown at him on the Newtownards Road.

In response the PSNI has established a special unit - 'Operation Orion' - to tackle hate crimes.

© UTV News
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49 Comments
andy in belfast wrote (164 days ago):
Breaking news, IRA graffiti daubed on the walls of Co.Antrim Orange Hall, Sein Fein MLA Martin McGuinness says East Belfast UVF is to blame..
Bigglen in Belfast wrote (164 days ago):
Will the OO like to release the number of its members who were charged with various terrorist related crimes during the troubles, o sorry once they were caught they suddenly became ex members what a bunch of angels
Enough already in Belfast wrote (165 days ago):
Time for Martin to produce proof of the alleged involvement of the Orange Order or just shut up. The Loyal Orders should be consulting a solicitor as surely this is slander?
Dorothy in Kansas wrote (165 days ago):
It's true that we don't hear forthright, unequivocal condemnation from Unionist leaders about violence coming from Loyalist quarters, condemnation of the kind we had from Martin McGuinness, after the killing of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr, or prison officer David Black, two or three years ago.
Dee in Newtownabbey wrote (165 days ago):
@ Chrossy in Ballymena. Your interpretation of history is suspect to say the least. The Orange Order have a long and chequered history of working 'hand in hand' with loyalist terrorists and those who would seek to use violence to further their own ends. In fact weren't they formed after a sectarian skirmish which they fomented in Loughall over 200 years ago? The Orange Order, if you care to take a second or two and actually look into it, have been synonymous with sectarian violence for generations. And yes they do have a cosy relationship with the UVF and also the UDA. Is it not the Orange Order that even invites loyalist bands aligned to these terrorist groups to parade with them every year? I give you the YCV band from the Shankill and the recent furore they caused at St Patrick's Chapel. Do you not remember Drumcree when the Orange Order enlisted the help of Johnny Adair, Billy Wright, Swinger Fulton and a myriad of other terrorist cretins? Your point hasn't the slightest bit of credibility. Do you know why - because you're wrong - plain and simple.
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