27 August 2005

DUP defends its stand

Belfast Telegraph

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
nmcadam@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
27 August 2005

THE DUP has urged anyone with information about attacks on Catholic families to immediately go to the police.

Under criticism from both the SDLP and Sinn Fein over its response to the rising wave of loyalist incidents, the main unionist party insisted its attitude had been unequivocal.

Gregory Campbell said: "There has been a concentration of attacks in parts of Co Antrim affecting Catholics, as well as against Protestants in the Fountain in Londonderry and in north and east Belfast."

"Simple condemnation in itself was insufficient and there could be no prevarication.

"We have also repeatedly called upon anyone with information regarding these incidents to provide it to the Police so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.

"Severe sentences in the courts, after due process, are the best deterrent for anyone considering repeating the actions," the East Londonderry MP added.

His statement, timed to coincide with what is termed the end of the parading season today, said his party's position stood in contrast to both Sinn Fein and the SDLP.

"Sinn Fein/IRA have, over 35 years, not only refused to condemn attacks like these but their military wing carried them out with their full support. The SDLP, while condemning sectarian attacks, refrained from supporting the Police until they obtained political concessions on policing," he argued.

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