14 October 2005

Unionist war of words

Irelandclick.com

North Belfast Unionist MLAs have started a war of words over so-called ‘concessions to republicans’.
UUP MLA Fred Cobain has warned that if people thought the protestant community was de-stabilised at the moment, government plans and proposals would make it worse.
“With IRA decommissioning apparently over Republicans will get to the sweetshop again. If people think the protestant community is de-stabilised at the minute some of the proposals being put forward by government will make it worse.
"We can expect movement shortly on On The Runs (OTRs) and it is being suggested that people might not even have to face a tribunal. The C8 cases may be targeted as well.
“With new forensic technologies some of those who may be facing charges could be offered immunity certificates.
"Another big issue for the public is the perverse situation where former or serving police officers may face charges while terrorists walk free.
"Unionists were told that the conveyor belt of concessions had come to an end under the DUP. This is not the case. In the months ahead we can expect many more by government to placate Republicans.”
The DUP’s Nelson McCausland hit back at his UUP counterpart and blamed the Ulster Unionists for causing the problem in the first place.
“At last it has dawned on Fred Cobain that the unionist community is unhappy with concessions given to republicans.
“It’s a pity the Ulster Unionist Party didn’t realise this fact whenever they signed up to the concessions that continue to work their way through the system.
“No matter what Fred Cobain might say, the DUP’s approach to Republican concessions differs massively from that taken by the Ulster Unionist Party.
“While the DUP has resisted and opposed every giveaway to republicans, the UUP, during its tenure, signed up to the very concessions to Sinn Féin/IRA that Fred Cobain now objects to.
“The UUP are in no position to lecture anyone on concessions.
“From the Belfast Agreement to the Joint Declaration, the UUP’s fingerprints are all over every concession to Sinn Féin/IRA.”
Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly urged the Unionists to stop bickering.
"Instead of complaining and attempting to score cheap political points about what Republicans are doing they need to work out what they need to do for their own communities.
“They need to get their act together in terms of facing down sectarian attacks, the loyalist paramilitaries control of areas and the use of loyalist guns that are still there and being used.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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