Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

MP accuses UVF of breaking ceasefire

Shooting victim Jemma McGrath
Riot police stand next to a burned out car after Loyalist protesters attacked police lines, in east Belfast

East Belfast MP Naomi Long has accused the UVF of breaking its ceasefire.

Mrs Long was commenting after police made a fresh appeal for information on the attempted murder of 24-year-old Jemma McGrath, linked to the paramilitary organisation.

"I do not believe that the UVF ceasefire is intact any longer," she said.

"There have been a number of incidents, both in my constituency and beyond, which have been attributed either to the UVF or to members of the UVF. The police have identified that senior members of the UVF have been involved in orchestrating rioting and involving in more recent rioting around the flags issue.

"I think because of the political motivation behind that and because of the nature of the violence they have been involved in, their ceasefire really is no longer in place."

Ms McGrath was shot several times in her abdomen, legs and arms in the Lord Street Mews area of east Belfast in September this year.

On Tuesday night, police returned to the scene where Ms McGrath was attacked at a similar time to when the incident occurred.

"The lack of any progress on a prosecution following this shooting is a matter of deep concern. Those responsible for what was a barbaric attack on and an attempted murder of a young woman are still at large in the community and remain a threat to the safety of others.

"It is important they are brought before the courts and taken off our streets for a long time. I urge anyone with information to pass it onto the police."

Detective Inspector Ian Magee said that police had distributed leaflets in the local area and were appealing for witnesses who may have seen two males in the area, one wearing a grey Adidas hooded top and the other dressed in a black tracksuit.

"To date, as part of this investigation, a 27 year old male and a 28 year old male have been arrested, interviewed and released on police bail pending further enquiries. It is important that those involved in this attack are identified and brought before the courts and we would encourage anyone who may have information that can help in this process to contact police on 0845 600 8000," he said.

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