28/06/2004

SF hit out at DUP Forum participation

Sinn Féin's Pat Doherty has hit out at the DUP for sitting down on a West Belfast Parades Forum which allegedly includes members of paramilitary organisations.

The West Tyrone MP said that the readiness of the DUP to sit alongside members of the UDA and UVF on the Forum showed the" sickening hypocrisy" of Ian Paisley's party.

Mr Doherty said: "Day in, day out, DUP politicians attempt to outdo one another in portraying the most hard-line stance against Sinn Féin.

"Yet here we have the spectre of some of these same politicians not only sitting talking to but strategising with members of the UDA and UVF on the issue of Orange Parades.

"This issue is a glaring example of the hypocrisy of DUP politicians. These founding fathers of Ulster Resistance rub shoulders with the UDA and UVF on a daily basis. As the DUP becomes increasingly desperate in its attempts to rationalise their irrational refusal to meet Sinn Féin - the majority voice of the nationalist electorate in the north - it is time that the British government stops pandering to the DUPs hypocritical agenda and starts calling a spade a spade."

However, DUP councillor, Nelson McCausland hit out at the criticism saying that his party sat alongside Sinn Féin on councils including Belfast.

Mr McCausland said the party was working with other political and community groups on the Shankill Road to ensure a peaceful summer and that the West Belfast Parades Forum was an important part of this.

(MB)

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