Belfast Telegraph

'Double standards' on killings slammed
Unionist attitude to UVF queried

By Chris Thornton
25 February 2004

THE families of three Protestant men murdered by the UVF have jointly called for a meeting with unionist leaders after criticising the politicians for not highlighting loyalist violence in the same way that they criticise republican attacks.

The families of John Allen, David McIlwaine and Raymond McCord accused both the UUP and DUP of holding a "double standard" in regards to participation in the talks at Stormont.

They said they were "disgusted" when they compared the response of unionist leaders to last week's apparent abduction which was blamed on the Provisional IRA and the murders of their sons.

Raymond McCord was killed by the UVF in 1997, David McIlwaine was an innocent bystander killed in the 2000 feud between the LVF and UVF, and John Allen was murdered three months ago in an apparent attempt to intimidate a Crown Court witness.

Raymond McCord Senior said: "David Trimble and Peter Robinson were there calling for Sinn Fein to be excluded from the talks, and not a word was said about the PUP.

"The message that they're sending to us is that it's wrong to kidnap a leading dissident republican but it's okay to kill an innocent Protestant.

"Are they afraid of the UVF?

"Let Trimble and Paisley sit across the table from us and explain why they're not calling for the exclusion of the PUP. "

Mr McCord, speaking on behalf of the other families, said no one could claim that UVF activity has died down in comparison to IRA activity.

"John Allen was killed just before Christmas," he said. "It's not as if this is a one-off situation.

"This is a constant thing from the ceasefire on.

"And when does a crime stop being a crime? When does a murder not count as murder?"

He said the families would like to put direct questions to the two parties.

"What do they think? Don't rock the boat and the UVF will just go away? Because our sense is that they don't want to know about it.

"It's a double standard and it's disgusting," he said.


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