After a week in which the leadership of Unionism and the Orange Order has continued to be in denial over events on the streets, Alliance Leader David Ford has made a direct appeal to ordinary unionists and Orangemen to stop the spiral towards anarchy.
David Ford said:
“In recent days, I have received a number of messages complimenting me on the stance taken by Alliance in defending the rule of law and the police service. It is obvious that many grassroots unionists are horrified by events in the Shankill, and angered by the response of Orange and
“So far, only one two prominent Orangeman, Rev. Brian Kennaway and Rev. Joseph Fell, have taken a public stand against those who caused the violence. Others have so far remained silent. Indeed, by withdrawing from the District Policing Partnership, unionist councillors are continuing their denial.
“I am therefore making a direct appeal to those who have responsibility for providing local leadership to unionism in areas outside those dominated by paramilitaries. It is time for you to make your voices heard.
“If Reg Empey, Ian Paisley and Robert Saulters no longer represent decent people who support the police, oppose paramilitaries, and want to see the rule of law enforced, then decent people will have to stand up to these so-called leaders and let the world know what the people of Northern Ireland really think.
“Unionist leadership has failed miserably in the last week. The responsibility of stopping a dreadful spiral towards anarchy now rest on every one of us.”