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Loyalists welcomed on Capitol Hill

By Jim Dee

Published 07/10/2011

Four senior loyalists headed back home to Northern Ireland yesterday after wrapping up a five-day visit to the US to raise awareness of the economic and social challenges facing loyalist areas.

Jackie McDonald, Jimmy Birch, John Bunting and Denis Cunningham — all of whom have ties to the UDA — held meetings in New York, Newark, and Washington DC with Irish-American business leaders, politicians and community leaders.

“Everybody’s been fantastic — most welcoming, encouraging, and intently listening,” Mc Donald told the Belfast Telegraph after visiting Capitol Hill.

“They all said the same thing — that they’re glad they heard (our) story because they didn’t know or understand our side of the conflict.”

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