14 July 2005

Government urged to review UVF ceasefire

::: u.tv :::

THURSDAY 14/07/2005 17:06:27

The British government was tonight urged to review the Ulster Volunteer Force ceasefire after a man was shot dead in his home earlier this week.

By:Press Associaiton

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the murder of Craig McCausland, 20, in north Belfast proved the loyalist paramilitary group was not prepared to put down their weapons.

The Foyle MP has written to Secretary of State Peter Hain and urged him to crack down on loyalist paramilitary activity.

Mr Durkan said: "The UVF murdered Craig McCausland in cold blood at his family home on Monday - in front of his wife and her children.

"No paramilitary group should be allowed to think that it can murder with impunity.

"Nor should any paramilitary group imagine that the rest of us will turn a blind eye and ignore this carnage."

Calling for a reassessment of the ceasefire, Mr Durkan said: "The facts are stark. The murder of Craig McCausland is but the latest.

"The UVF has already murdered three people in the last two years - and attempted to murder another in January.

"Meanwhile, loyalists are still responsible for most violence.

"They are up to their necks in attacking vulnerable communities - and poisoning their own with drugs.

"That is why the two governments must bring real pressure on the UVF and other loyalists to wind up all their activity - now and for good."

The SDLP leader said, despite some notable coups for the Assets Recovery Agency, the political process had failed to tackle the issue of loyalist terror.

Last night it was claimed Mr McCausland was not a member of one of the organisations involved in the loyalist power struggle.

Police said at the time Mr McCausland was killed by the UVF who believed he was a member of the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force.

But detectives investigating the murder were not convinced he was a member of the LVF and the organisation said he was not.

The Press Association was told by an intermediary: "The LVF want to make it clear he did not belong to that group.

"He was not connected or linked and never has been.

"They cannot understand why someone kill him and link him to them. There were no links, no association, nothing."

Mr McCausland, who was shot several times in his Dhu Varren Park home, lived with his girlfriend, who is in her mid-20s, her nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter.

Police branded the killing a "ruthless execution" which was believed to have been carried out after a man was shot and seriously injured while he was out walking his dogs.

The LVF was said to be behind that attack.

Earlier this month loyalist paramilitaries were blamed for the murder of Jameson Lockhart, also from north Belfast, who was shot as he drove a lorry in east Belfast.

The UVF was also linked to that killing.

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