Muir reports Spotlight allegations to police

Alliance North Down Councillor Andrew Muir has reported to police allegations the UDA held a meeting at a community centre in North Down.

The claims, which were brought to light earlier this week on BBC’s Spotlight programme, alleged a meeting at which self-confessed UDA commander Dee Stitt was present was also attended by DUP Councillor Wesley Irvine, who allegedly handed out DUP leaflets and voter registration forms in the run-up to the General Election in June.

Councillor Muir has also referred Alderman Irvine to the Local Government Commissioner for Standards, as the allegations would be against the Code of Conduct for Councillors if proven. Councillor Muir has also made an independent complaint over the alleged use of the Council premises.

“I have reported to PSNI my concerns after this week’s Spotlight programme, particularly around the allegation the UDA held a meeting in Bangor earlier this year at which Dee Stitt, who has publicly stated he is a commander in the UDA, attended. Further to this, allegations were made on the programme Alderman Irvine attended, seeking political and electoral support.

“I have therefore also referred Alderman Irvine to the Local Government Commissioner to ask them to investigate his alleged presence at the meeting, which has been claimed to be a meeting of the UDA’s ‘North Down battalion.’ It is vital this situation is probed immediately and Alderman Irvine answers the questions raised by it.”

“Alderman Irvine and any of his colleagues, or indeed anyone else who attended that meeting, have a moral and legal imperative to tell the authorities who else was there, and have them make a determination whether any further action should be taken,” added Alliance North Down MLA Stephen Farry.

“Alliance is opposed to all forms of paramilitarism and the cancer it represents in our society. This includes giving active paramilitary organisations legitimacy by meeting them and canvassing for votes. Questions have been raised and now it is up to the proper authorities to seek answers.”

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