Residents call on UVF to stand down

Donegall Pass residents have called on the UVF to stand down its entire company based within the South Belfast estate.

At a meeting with the South Belfast News in the city centre on Wednesday a number of terrified residents said “every decent person in Donegall Pass” wanted the local UVF disbanded.

The group, made up entirely of long-term Donegall Pass families, insisted a leading loyalist in the area was directing a relentless campaign of intimidation that threatened to destroy the estate.

The man in his late ‘30s they referred to was appointed commander of the Donegall Pass UVF after its former leader was jailed in May 2003.
The new boss immediately set about extorting cash from Chinese businessmen and burning down the homes and restaurants of those who would not pay.

Public outrage against the wave of race hate attacks initiated by the new commander forced the UVF to announce in April that he had been stood down. However, he continues to call the shots in the area, ordering random attacks on those who cross him.

During the past 12 months he has overseen countless attacks on ethnic minorities and forced a local mother and daughter to flee their homes after two separate incidents in May and August.

At the beginning of the year the paramilitary boss was also involved in stealing thousands of pounds worth of lead from the roof of a city centre church that was later sold on the black market.

The Donegall Pass YCV, carrying out the orders of the UVF commander, have attacked the children of families he has fallen out with, robbed delivery vans dropping off loads at local hotels and Chinese restaurants and broken into cars at Central Fire Station.

In two acts of sickening cruelty the YCV also brutally beat a Frenchman for walking around his Donegall Pass house naked and killed seagulls in the local playground after catching them with fishing lines and hooks. According to witnesses the YCV members involved in both incidents were drinking and high on drugs.

“We can’t speak out publicly because we will be put out of our homes,” said the Donegall Pass residents.

“The local UVF are running wild and this area is going to become a ghetto unless someone sorts these people out.”

South Belfast DUP councillor Ruth Patterson, who has been in touch with residents, admitted Donegall Pass was out of control.

“I was accused of going off half-cocked last week when I gave just a glimpse of what was happening in this area,” she said. “But from these residents’ accounts it is clear that there are major problems in Donegall Pass.

“I want to know what paramilitaries have to say about good people who have contributed to this area being forced from their homes?

Residents are not lying when they say there are elements hell bent on destroying the area.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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