Irish Republican News · October 17, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Arms cache found as UDA get cash

Scores of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition were discovered by accident this week in a loyalist area of north Belfast as it emerged that UDA death-squads are receiving huge cash hand-outs from the Stormont administration.

The huge arms cache, said to be linked to the rival UVF, was found after a well-known loyalist figure died suddenly last weekend, apparently a victim of suicide. Over seventy guns were found in the biggest such finds in Belfast.

More guns were also found in other searches of lock-up premises in the greater Belfast area, said the PSNI.

Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly welcomed the discovery.

“These guns, which belonged to an organisation that was responsible for countless sectarian killings in North Belfast and further afield, have now been taken of the streets,” he said.

“The obvious question that nationalists across north Belfast will be asking what the UVF were doing with 70 guns and a large amount of ammunition in the city anyway, 14 years after the UVF declared a ceasefire.”

The find came just days after it was revealed that SDLP Minister Margaret Ritchie has continued to fund the unionist paramilitary UDA -- to the tune of almost 400,000 pounds -- despite an announcement that she was cutting the funding late last year because of the UDA’s failure to disarm.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Paul Maskey today said that people would be shocked at the revelation.

“At the time Sinn Féin and all of the other Executive parties publicly supported her position but were fearful that the approach she adopted in not seeking Executive cover left her decision open to challenge,” he said.

“Unfortunately it now seems that this position has been borne out.

“Since her announcement last year almost #400,000 of taxpayers money has been pumped into this project away from the glare of the media. I am quite sure that the vast majority of ordinary people will be shocked at this revelation.

“The manner in which the Minister went about taking her decision, chasing headlines instead of following procedures is the direct cause of this turn of events.

“What Minister Ritchie has achieved since her announcement last November is the continuation of funding to the UDA-linked project in direct contravention of the position articulated by every other Executive party who wanted to see the funding ended.”

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© 2008 Irish Republican News