Chief Constable confirmation on UVF involvement helpful, says Farry

Alliance Policing spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said it is helpful the Chief Constable has confirmed the UVF was behind threats which forced four Catholic families to leave a shared neighbourhood.

UVF flags were placed in Cantrell Close earlier this summer, followed by the threats being issued last week. Earlier today, a statement from the East Belfast Community Initiative organisation said it had ‘secured removal” of the flags. This was followed by George Hamilton confirming the UVF was behind the threats.

“The confirmation from the Chief Constable the UVF is behind this campaign of intimidation against a number of families in Cantrell Close is helpful,” said Dr Farry.

“The pressure put on the UVF by every right-thinking person across Northern Ireland following the threats last week embarrassed them into taking action to remove their flags from Cantrell Close. However, the move is over three months too late – flags glorifying a paramilitary organisation should never have been put up in the first instance.

“The move is also a week too late for those families who have now had to leave their homes due to the threats issued against them, as well as for two community workers who are also under threat. The threats need removed immediately and every avenue of support given to those affected.

“This issue again raises the spectre of paramilitarism – in 2017 we should not be having this conversation. The poison of paramilitarism should be gone entirely and the only way to do that is have all parties commit to eliminating it at a grassroots level.”

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