6 February 1997 Edition

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Loyalist protection money

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) is funding protection measures for UDP and PUP members but has consistently refused similar funds to Sinn Féin.

In recent years 14 Sinn Fein members as well as family members have been killed, Sinn Fein offices have been bombed, shot at and had rockets fired at them, private houses and cars have also been attacked. In recent weeks two republicans could have been murdered as a result of under-car bombs.

Despite this very obvious risk which Sinn Féin members and their families face, the British government refuses to provide them with the resources to protect themselves.

North Belfast Sinn Féin councillor Bobby Lavery, whose son Sean (21) was murdered during a UDA gun attack on the family home on the Antrim Road, Belfast on 8 August 1993, hit out at ``the double standards being applied by the NIO in relation to the allocation of money for protection to political parties.'' He added, ``Sinn Féin will be seeking legal advice on this clear application of double standards by the British government''.

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1