Sinn Fein has accused unionist politicians of doing nothing to stop paramilitary attacks against nationalists.

North Belfast representative Gerry Kelly accused Ulster Unionist and DUP representatives of paying "mere lip-service" in condemning recent sectarian violence.

Mr Kelly was speaking as his party produced a dossier of 85 unionist paramilitary attacks, including four UVF murders, carried out since June. The document included a series of quotes by unionist politicians over the years which sought to justify or excuse sectarian attacks on Catholics.

Mr Kelly accused unionists of continuing to hide behind anti-republican rhetoric instead of condemning unionist violence.

"They have failed to grasp the reality that the biggest threat to this process at this time comes from violent unionism," he said.

Mr Kelly also accused Ian Paisley's DUP of stalling the political process, at the same time as it sat alongside the UDA And UVF unionist paramilitary organisations on bodies such as the Loyalist Commission and the Loyalist Parades Forum.

"Sinn Fein is demanding that unionist political leaderships tackle the issue of unionist paramilitary violence," he said.

"Pretending that it is a reaction to the IRA, or that it is not happening at all, is no longer tenable."

Nationalists were angered this month after the PSNI described the stabbing murder by UVF members of 15-year-old Catholic boy Thomas Devlin this month as "totally random" and refused to admit it was sectarian.

Mr Kelly also criticised comments from Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton on Wednesday suggesting that attacks on Catholic families in Ahoghill were not entirely sectarian.

There have been calls for Mr Leighton to resign after he blamed the daily litany of sectarian attacks on "people not getting on".

"There is a clear perception that the PSNI appears to be less than enthusiastic in the pursuit of those who are carrying out these attacks," he said.

"To insinuate that these attacks are a result of some neighbourhood fall-out has absolutely no credibility."

Mr Kelly questioned how the British government's Northern ireland Office (NIO) could continue to back ceasefires claims by the UDA and UVF in light of recent attacks.

"For the NIO to continue with the myth of acknowledging loyalist ceasefires, when four people have been killed in two months, is ludicrous," he said.

"They (the NIO) are undermining whatever credibility they have left."


Meanwhile, a Belfast man who has waged an eight-year campaign to bring his son's unionist killers to justice was the subject of an attempted murder bid on Thursday.

The Ulster Volunteer Force, whose members beat Raymond McCord Jnr to death in 1997, planned to kill his father, Raymond McCord Snr, in north Belfast.

Mr McCord, an outspoken critic of the UVF, was on his way to visit a relative in the staunchly loyalist district of Tiger's Bay.

However, he received a phone call warning him that two UVF men were cruising the area on a motorcycle.

One of those on the motorcycle was the paramilitary boss he believes murdered his son.

Mr McCord says that he has been targeted four times by the UVF in the last two weeks. He has also been told by the PSNI that he is on a UVF death list.

* A pipe bomb was left outside a home in Ballymena and a bar and house were attacked in Rasharkin this week as the unionist sectarian campaign continued in north Antrim.

* A taxi driver has been seriously injured in a gun attack in County Down in an attack blamed on the ongoing feud among unionist paramilitaries. The man was in his vehicle in Newtownards, when he was shot several times in the early hours of Saturday morning. He is recovering in hospital.

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