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30 March 2000 Edition

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Loyalist councillor in hit list cover up scandal

BY DEIRDRE FEEHAN

A Belfast UDP councillor who was given a loyalist hit list containing the details of 27 nationalists and republicans tried to cover up its existence, says Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly, who was one of those targeted.

``Frank McCoubrey was given the list and had it in his possession since Thursday 23 March but made no effort to contact those targeted,'' Kelly told a press conference in Belfast on Wednesday, 29 March. ``Councillor McCoubrey has to my knowledge not informed anyone on the list that they might be in danger and that the UDA was targeting them.''

The UDA list was found in a community centre in Springmartin in loyalist West Belfast along with a number of hand-drawn maps of nationalist areas and a small bag of ammunition.

One of those targeted was North Belfast community worker Liam Maskey, who often travels into loyalist areas and sits on the North Belfast Partnership Board with McCoubrey.

Sitting alongside Kelly, Maskey told the press conference that he challenged McCoubrey about the list and the UDP man tried to persuade him to drop the matter.

Maskey said that since the revelations his daughter, who worked ``in a mixed area'' has had to leave her job.

Kelly said it was his belief that the UDA compiled the list and said it was further evidence that loyalist death squads are continuing to target and gather information on nationalists and republicans.

``This is not surprising, as the UDA in North Belfast are engaged in a sectarian campaign of intimidation against Catholics living in the area. This entire episode does of course raise serious questions for the UDP and Councillor McCoubrey in particular.''

The Sinn Féin representative told the press conference that the party has a copy of the list and will ensure that those targeted are informed of the danger.
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