DUP concern for sectarian killer
DUP MPs have backed a sectarian double killer who was sacked after he called for ‘The Sash’ to be played outside a branch of the Asda retail chain store in north Belfast.
Billy Hunter, who murdered two Catholic brothers 35 years ago, appealed to a delivery driver to play the loyalist tune outside the store on the Shore Road. Complaints from shoppers led to his dismissal.
However, he was reinstated in his post following a four-day loyalist protest.
The store in north Belfast is used by members of both the Catholic and Protestant communities but apparently became caught up in efforts to mark out territory during the Protestant marching season.
Messages on the internet in support of the double murderer were issued in the name of two members of parliament, Jeffrey Donaldson and Nigel Dodds of the DUP.
Donaldson later denied he was aware of Hunter’s murderous past.
DUP MPs Jeffrey Donaldson and Nigel Dodds issued messages on the internet in support of the campaign to have Hunter reinstated.
Donaldson, asked if he still stood by his posting, said: “As I said I am glad that common sense prevailed and this man has been treated fairly”.
Reacting to Hunter’s reinstatement, Gerard McErlane, whose brothers were killed by Hunter, said: “This man never once apologised to my family for murdering my brothers.
“It’s quite clear from his comments to customers regarding ‘The Sash’ that he hasn’t changed his sectarian views.
“This man spent months luring my brothers to their deaths.”
Meanwhile, the man who made the complaint about Hunter’s ‘Sash’ remark said he now fears for his life and that he did not believe Hunter had “changed”.
“My work colleague and I we re wearing the company uniforms where we both work and I’m sure he might know someone who might be willing to find us,” he said.
“If he did that 30 years ago, sure he could do it again.”
The man also said he was unhappy that Asda had reinstated Hunter.
“All it took was a protest and losing their profits for them to go back on their word and reinstate him,” he said.
Asda is a subsidiary of US retail giant Walmart. It is thought that a challenge to Walmart in the US under the McBride equality legislation could yet have Hunter’s reinstatement reversed.
Meanwhile, UVF flags continue to fly outside the Asda store and the constituency office of Nigel Dodds.
The erection of the flags came just ever a month after the UVF murdered loyalist Bobby Moffett. The father-or-six was shot dead at close range by two masked gunmen as a result of a feud with a senior UVF member.
The ‘Independent Monitoring Commission’, an official mouthpiece of British military intelligence, today said it would present a report on the killing of Moffett shortly.
It was also revealed that the findings of the Inquiry into the INLA shooting of LVF leader Billy Wright in 1997 will be released on September 14.