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Unionist leaders endorse violence

(Bimpe Fatogun, Irish News)

Willie Frazer, spokesman for the Love Ulster campaign and victims group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives, on his welcoming loyalist paramilitaries "as individuals" to a rally on October 29.

"There is a difference [between loyalist and republican paramilitaries] loyalists are not trying to get into the government. They're not trying to get into the police force. They're not trying to get 'on-the-runs' returned. They're not trying to turn justice upside down. They don't really come into the equation the way the IRA does."

Belfast Orange Order Grand Master Dawson Bailie speaking about where blame lay for the violence which followed the disputed Whiterock parade last month.

"The violence I saw at the weekend from the police force was absolutely shocking. I don't accept any responsibility for calling people out on the streets to assist us. I feel entirely blameless."

Orange Order Grand Master Robert Saulters, drawing a link between loyalist violence and a growing sense of disenfranchisement within Protestant communities.

"We may have put the lance in place to lance the boil, but the boil already existed and was not our making. For years we have seen nationalists achieve what they want by violence and the threat of violence. In these circumstances when frustrated and with no other option we should not be surprised that some individuals resort to violence."

Leading Ulster Unionist David McNarry speaking after the loyalist violence surrounding the disputed parade.

"The unionist family no longer trust the British government to represent their interests at the negotiating table. They no longer believe the British government share their concerns, hopes and fears. We feel that we approach negotiations with one hand tied behind our backs."

October 12, 2005

This article appeared first in the October 6, 2005 edition of the Irish News.

This article appears thanks to the Irish News. Subscribe to the Irish News