Irish Republican News · July 25, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
LVF forced out as feud escalates

Scores of unionist paramilitaries forced supporters of the rival LVF out of an East Belfast housing estate as PSNI police stood by today.

A crowd of up to 100 UVF and UDA men gathered in the Garnerville area to ensure LVF members were out of the area. A number of families left the estate, Glenlea Park, at the weekend.

It followed a bomb attack and an arson attack in north Belfast linked to the feud.

The PSNI denied it had allowed gangsters to take control of the estate, which is near the PSNI’s training college, or that they were just standing by watching people being put out of their homes.

“We can only do something if there is a complaint or if there is an offence detected,” he said.

“We haven’t seen any offences today, otherwise we would have made arrests and we haven’t received complaints from members of the public as yet.”

The police said they were called to the area after reports of large numbers of paramilitaries on the streets, but there were no reports of any trouble.

Sinn Féin South Belfast assembly member Alex Maskey accused unionist politicians of having turned a “blind eye” to unionist paramilitary activities for years.

“This attitude has been repeated again throughout this latest feud as, night after night, attacks have taken place across north and east Belfast with minimal comment from either main unionist party,” he said.

David Ervine, who has represented the UVF politically, claimed the situation arose from a failure by the authorities to act. “That’s why they did it, because no one else would.”

In controversial comments at the weekend, Mr Ervine said he feared the feud would get worse and that the UVF would move to wipe out its rival.

He also said he has “absolutely no influence over what is happening on our streets at the moment”.

As the feud tensions continued, it has been confirmed that the UVF and UDA had resurrected the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC).

The CLMC was the paramilitary umbrella group which announced the UDA and UVF ceasefires in October 1994.

By the end of the 1990s it was disbanded because of loyalist infighting.

It is understood that the UVF and UDA secretly re-established the group last year but excluded the LVF.

In one of its first acts it is believed that the CLMC has banned shops in hardline unionist areas from selling the Sunday World newspaper.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News