UDA ceasefire questioned

The validity of the UDA’s ceasefire has been brought into question by a North Belfast MLA after three loyalists stabbed a teenager with a claw hammer and a Stanley knife at the weekend.
The attempt on Darren McGarrity’s life (pictured on front) has prompted SDLP MLA Alban Maginness to question the seriousness of the UDA’s ceasefire claim.
18-year-old Darren was slashed with a Stanley blade and attacked with a claw hammer by Loyalists as he walked along the Antrim Road after using a bank link.
The deep lacerations on his upper back, neck and arms meant doctors at the Mater Hospital had to use 40 staples to close his wounds.
The attack took place on Saturday night after he had left the Chester Bar on the Antrim Road around 12.30am to get money from the nearby petrol station.
The attackers, who were disturbed by a passing car when they were attacking the young Catholic, told him he was a “lucky Fenian bastard.”
“In light of this incident and several others over the weekend, not least a UDA show of strength in court last week would make anyone seriously question their commitment,” Alban Maginness said.
“My view has always been that I am sceptical of the UDA’s ceasefire.
“I’m not convinced it’s a genuine ceasefire, and given this incident plus the court incident and others in North Belfast over the weekend, I’m still not convinced that the UDA are totally committed to this ceasefire.”
Darren’s mother Teresa McGarrity said she was horrified by the attack on her only son.
“When I head about it, I just went numb. But now I’m feeling hurt that someone would hurt my son.
“He’s a good, honest, hard worker and these people just don’t care who they hurt. I’m just grateful that Darren’s alive and that he’s here to tell the tale.”
The PSNI has said they are treating the attack on Darren’s life as sectarian and they said they were also investigating an attack on a young Nationalist in the grounds of Belfast Castle last Friday.
In this incident a young 20-year-old postman from Glengormley was approached by a gang of eight youths. They were carrying tree branches and holding glass bottles.
They said they were from the Ulster Political Research Group and the Ulster Volunteer Force according to the victim, who said he wanted to be known as Stephen.
“I had just left the Belfast Castle about 10.15pm on Friday when it happened.
“It was our Christmas party and I was waiting for my taxi when they came up to me and said ‘Up the Ra’. I just kept my head down and ignored them.
“But then they came up to me and I was circled. They asked me was I a Protestant and when I said it was none of their business, they cracked up and said I was getting done. That’s when they said they were from the UPRG and UVF. And then someone hit me in the eye with a bottle.”
The young man managed to get away but the gang chased him and caught up with him and attacked him. When he came to, he found himself in a garden and sought help.
Sinn Féin councillor Danny Lavery said it was time that Loyalists and unionist politicians worked together to stop the attacks.
“It is Sinn Féin's belief that both these attacks were sectarian and we are urging all Nationalists to be extremely vigilant in the coming weeks. Any one of these attacks could have been fatal.
“I am also calling on those with influence within the Loyalist and Unionist community to use whatever power they have to put an end to such attacks. They have to stop or someone could die.”
UPRG spokesman for North Belfast John Bunting rubbished claims that the attacks were the work of the UDA.
“I totally condemn these attacks wholeheartedly. If loyalists we involved I would totally condemn it.
“The people that did this are scumbags. They are undermining all the good work the UDA and UPRG are putting into this community.
“There is a serious problem in North Belfast with a knife culture and it seems that UDA is being landed with all the blame, whether its true or not.”


Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?