Issue 3-2023-200dpi

2 August 2001 Edition

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Reid's response outrageous

Ridiculous and despicable are the words with which northern nationalists have greeted the British Secretary of State's assertion that the UDA's ceasefire remains valid.

Despite ``worrying reports'', said Dr. John Reid, ``the UDA as an organisation has not abandoned its ceasefire''.

No doubt these worrying reports include the killing of two teenagers, shot dead because they were Catholic or believed to be Catholic, both claimed by the Red Hand Defenders but widely known to be the work of the UDA.

And did the RUC Chief Constable's briefing include over 150 pipe and blast bomb attacks on Catholic families, property and businesses carried out by the UDA and LVF?

Did it include the nightly, and sometimes daily, loyalist incursions into vulnerable nationalist estates in places like North Belfast or the sectarian mob attacks like the one that left 51-year-old Mary Campbell beaten unconscious and left for dead on her own front doorstep?

Was there a ``worrying report'' concerning Geraldine Ewing, an elderly widow who died hours after being intimidated out of her Lisburn home. Or consideration of the children of Holy Cross School, who can no longer go to class unmolested, following a UDA orchestrated campaign of hate.

``I give this warning to the UDA and ask them to reflect on it,'' announced Reid, ``I'm keeping their ceasefire under constant review and I have asked the [RUC] chief constable to give me a report in a week's time, offering his full assessment.''

Just how much death and injury does John Reid need before he can make up his mind?

The grief of the families of Gavin Brett and Ciaran Cummings, the latest victims of a sectarian campaign waged against northern nationalists by the loyalist UDA, stands as an indictment of the complacent words of the British Secretary of State.

An Phoblacht
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