The Newtownabbey Councillor said: “It has been claimed by reliable media sources that the UVF is to disband in November and to re-form itself as “The Somme Association”. In such circumstances, it looks like the Government might hand over £30 million for the benefit of this association. This organisation would be unaccountable and presumably filled with ex terrorists.
“This type of scheme would be completely immoral and, not for the first time, would seem to reward criminals. To use an organisation referring to those who died at the battle of the Somme is a further insult.
“Significantly, these moves come from the very same Government that has made changes to the system of compensation to reduce the level of payments to victims of terrorism.”
Tom Campbell concluded: “I call on the Government to clarify the status of these media reports. This is not the first time that there have been claims of deals being arranged with terrorist godfathers in exchange for money. I am sure that the Ulster Unionist Party, which has political links with representatives of the UVF, will want such claims clarified. Decent people want to have no part in taxpayers’ money being used as a retirement package for paramilitaries.”
Note To Editor
The media reports referred to relate to Sunday World articles last weekend. Such reports have also been carried in the Observer.