Ulster Unionist Robin Swann has called on Sinn Fein’s Daithi McKay to accept all police assessments on groups involved in paramilitary and criminal activity.
He accused Mr. McKay of being ‘selective’ after the North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA claimed police had told him that members of the UDA were behind recent pipe bomb attacks in the village of Ahoghill.
Mr Swann said; “Daithi McKay claims that police have told him at a meeting that the UDA was behind two pipe bombs found in Ahoghill last week. I find it curious that Mr McKay is prepared to accept a police assessment in relation to loyalist paramilitary activity, yet Sinn Fein is not prepared to accept a police assessment in relation to the existence of the IRA.
“The difference between the Ulster Unionist Party and Sinn Fein is that we are not in denial about the existence of these groups. The Ulster Unionist Party has no hesitation in condemning all forms of paramilitary activity and any group involved in criminality or violence, including those responsible for the Ahoghill pipe bombs. Given his new found confidence in police assessments, I call on Mr McKay and his Sinn Fein colleagues to condemn the IRA with regard to its ongoing existence and criminal activity.”
Daithi McKay said he would be ‘requesting an assessment of the status of unionist paramilitary ceasefires in light of the PSNI’s confirmation that the UDA is responsible for bomb attacks in Ahoghill’. He added: “It has been well established that Unionist paramilitaries are involved in criminal activity, intimidation, extortion and drug dealing in North Antrim. The confirmation of involvement in the pipe bombings is the latest evidence that unionist paramilitaries are active.