Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Martin McGuinness: Unionists agree Orange Order, UVF and PUP 'acting as one and the same'

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness has said unionists agree with him that the Orange Order, UVF and PUP in Belfast are acting as "one and the same thing".

Earlier this week Mr McGuinness said loyalist extremists had influenced unionist leaders during the Haass talks.

And after violence last year surrounding loyalist parades in Belfast, Mr McGuinness had also said the Orange Order had been infiltrated by the UVF.

"Unionist leaders have told me that they regard the UVF, the PUP and the Orange Order in Belfast as one and the same thing," Mr McGuinness said last night.

Meanwhile, a loyalist march through the centre of Belfast on Saturday, February 1 has had restrictions placed on it.

South Belfast Young Conquerors Flute band had applied for permission for up to 15 bands and 550 people to take part in the loyalist march "in support of bands at Twaddell Avenue".

It wanted to pass an interface at the Ardoyne roundabout, before finishing up at Twaddell Avenue. But the Parades Commission denied it permission to pass between the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road and the junction of Twaddell Avenue and the Crumlin Road.

PUP spokesman Winston Irvine said it was totally opposed to the restrictions.

"The Parades Commission are continuing to exclude the Protestant community from that part of the Crumlin Road as a means to appease the threat of republican violence," he said.

On the same day, five bands and 500 people are expected to attend a parade organised by the North Belfast Civil Rights Association to "highlight inequality on housing, lack of leisure facilities in nationalist areas". The nationalist demonstration, and two loyalist protests against it, also had restrictions placed on them.

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