Sunday Life

**Awww, this is just sooo sweet. Maybe she should clean up her own house first.

Mother Shoukri heads up anti-drugs drive

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
26 September 2004

THE mother of a loyalist godfather is helping to spearhead a campaign against drugs, in a run-down area of Belfast.

Sunday Life can reveal that Kate Shoukri - the mother of north Belfast UDA terror boss Andre Shoukri - is part of a community group, which has vowed to battle the drugs problem in the area.

Her other son, Ihab, is also a leading loyalist, in north Belfast.

He currently faces a UFF membership charge.

Along with the UDA leader's sister-in-law, Carol, Mrs Shoukri - who helps run a community centre in the Westland estate - is part of the Lower North Belfast Community Council (LNBCC).

The pair will be part of a delegation which will meet with community leaders in Dublin during a two-day visit next month, to discuss anti-drugs initiatives.

The group will also visit psychiatric units and Mountjoy Prison to witness the devastation the drugs problem has caused, in run-down areas of the city.

There is no suggestion that Mrs Shoukri and her daughter have ever had any links to the UDA.

Last night, the LNBCC's community relations officer, Jim Spence said: "There is a huge problem with drugs in north Belfast, and community workers like Kate and Carol Shoukri are doing their best to address the problem.

"People don't realise the great work they do in their community - they can't be held responsible for the actions of their sons."

Added Mr Spence: "I don't know what Kate's sons are involved in. The only thing I'm interested in is the excellent work they do in the local community.

"Kate and Carol Shoukri have been helping to build Westland, and they do a fantastic job lending a helping hand to people of all ages.

"The pair were involved in Westland long before I joined the group, and I am happy with the work they are doing in their community."

Mrs Shoukri's role in the community is similar to that of Shankill councillor Eric Smyth, who spearheaded a campaign against drugs while his two sons were jailed for selling Ecstasy.

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