Blame for violence lies with Order and paramilitaries: Ford

Alliance Leader David Ford has criticised those Unionists who still refuse to recognise where the fault lies for the violence since Saturday.

Following a meeting with Peter Hain, David Ford said:

“Alliance made clear to the Secretary of State that responsibility for the violence this past week lies squarely on the shoulders of the Orange Order and the paramilitaries. For unionists to attempt to shift the blame onto the Parades Commission and the Police Service is to defy the facts, as shown by the clear video evidence.

“We left the Secretary of State in no doubt about his responsibilities to stand up for the rule of law. We stressed the importance of defending the integrity of the Parades Commission, and countering the lies and propaganda being spread about the police by the Orange Order and its political hangers-on.

“There has been a complete failure of leadership within both the Orange Order and the unionist parties. They need to face up to these realities and accept their responsibilities, not persist in the fiction that paramilitaries and police are both to blame.

“It is nonsense to claim that the violence was primarily a response to social deprivation. Unionists who can recognise the evil of violence when it comes from nationalists in Ardoyne ought to recognise the same evil when perpetrated by unionists on the Shankill.

“Instead of listening to the self-appointed ‘community representatives’ peddling a selfish political agenda, Alliance calls on the Secretary of State to listen to the decent ordinary people in working-class communities. It is time to pay attention to those who had nothing to do with violence, who want to build a better future for themselves and their families, but are living in fear.”


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