03 September 2005

'DUP's mask slips' over condemning all violence

Belfast Telegraph

By Debra Douglas
03 September 2005

A DUP councillor was lambasted today for "failing to criticise" loyalists engaged in criminality in the same terms as republicans.

Ulster Unionist MLA Esmond Birnie hit out at Belfast councillor Ruth Patterson for condemning Sinn Fein's response to a number of incidents in Belfast - including the rape of a teenage girl which was not carried out by paramilitaries - during a television interview but failing to criticise the PUP and loyalists.

He said: "Is Councillor Patterson implying that it is somehow less wrong for the UVF, etc to be killing people than for the IRA to be doing that?

"For several years, various figures in the DUP have tried to steer that party towards a more 'centre ground'. Now and again, however, the mask slips."

But defending her comments, Ms Patterson said: "In the interview, I was specifically discussing the rape of an innocent 15-year-old girl. It could be clearly seen that this terrible story was having an emotional impact on me.

"I was then asked a purely political question and needed a few seconds to gather my thoughts, then applied the same terminology to both parties. No distinction was drawn."

Ex-Lord Mayor, Alliance's Tom Ekin, said Ms Patterson's comments were "incredible". "In the chamber, the DUP were making clear their opposition to all violence, but outside afterwards they were fumbling."

Yes that's DUP all right. Hypocrital beyond belief! It doesn't suprise me at all. Paisley also blames the Loyalist terror and intimidation of Nationalists recently on the Parades Commission! I can't see how Sinn Fein will sit in office with such a bastard. I don't know why the want to.
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