Irish Republican News · September 20, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
UDA receiving ‘secret’ Stormont payouts

Claims last week that a secret fund has been set up to channel money to certain loyalist organisations have still not been denied by Six County officials.

SDLP social development minister Alex Attwood said the 32 million pound fund had been “dreamed up behind closed doors” and asked if it was a way to hand money to unionist paramilitary groups “through the back door”.

His predecessor Margaret Ritchie had vetoed cash goingto the UDA-linked ‘Conflict Transformation Initiative’ because the loyalist paramilitary group failed to decommission its weapons.

Now reports have indicated that new fund called ‘Removing Barriers to Community Prosperity’ has been funding the UDA and its front organisations.

A public announcement on the huge cash injection has never been made by the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).

Sinn Fein is facing difficult questions over its support for loyalist gangs who are engaged in sectarian violence and murder.

Sinn Fein member of the OFMDFM committee, Martina Anderson, denied there was any secrecy and the funding plan would eventually go before the Six-County executive after passing through the relevant Assembly committee.

Meanwhile, an anti-republican lobbying group, Families Acting For Innocent Relatives (Fair), has had more than a million euro in European Union grants revoked.

It follows an investigation into the organisation’s tendering process.

Loyalist Willie Frazer, who was behind the notorious ‘Love Ulster’ parade, said there were some ‘paperwork errors’. He claimed that Fair had been “hammered” because it was not “politically correct”.

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