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15 January 1998 Edition

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Growing protests against loyalist murders

THE widow of Gerard Slane, murdered by the UDA in 1988, slammed loyalist politicians and the British government at Tuesday's mass demonstration outside the Clifton Tavern in North Belfast.

Speaking to hundreds at the site of the New Year's Eve loyalist attack which left five injured and Edmund Treanor dead, she said loyalist politicians were ``threatening to break their ceasefire if the government didn't act'', while Catholics were being murdered.

She said the British government must face their responsibilities.

``They cannot enforce the Mitchell Principles against Sinn Fein but totally disregard them when they are continually broken by loyalists, because when loyalists talk of a return to war we the nationalist community know only too well what it means.''

Mrs Slane also turned on the media for describing as `retaliation' loyalist murders.

``One could be forgiven for thinking that the loyalists haven't killed anyone before the death of Billy Wright.''

Brendan Bradley of Survivors of Trauma, who has himself lost three members of his family, hoped that the ``protest would be the start of people coming onto the streets to show support for those who have lost loved ones, those trying to forge a way forward and for those trying to express their disgust at the sectarian killings.'' He called on loyalists to stop the killing. Community worker Maura Fryers called the murder of Terry Enright ``a tragedy'', calling him ``the perfect role model for all young people, Protestant and Catholic.''
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