Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster: Combined loyalist statement 'in stark contrast' to Gerry Adams' justification for violence

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said the combined loyalist statement condemning criminality “stands in stark contrast" to Gerry Adams’ latest justification for violence.

The Red Hand Commando, Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force released a joint statement on Monday saying that those within their organisations who commit criminal acts will be removed.

Mrs Foster, welcoming the statement, said: “I welcome the combined loyalist statement which opposes and condemns all forms of criminality.  It stands in stark contrast to Gerry Adams’ latest justification for violence.”

The DUP leader was referring to recent comments made by former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in a German newspaper in which he said the use of violence to achieve political aims was justified "in certain circumstances".

Mrs Foster added: “It is time for those who use criminality to get off the backs of their communities. Their objectives are not political but rather power and profit.

“I support the police in putting them out of business and behind bars once and for all.

“We have and will continue to help those who want to transition into politics.  Violence has no place in our society. We commend those who are leading and working hard to help move their communities forward.

“We want to build a Northern Ireland for the next generation which is free from violence and where no community is left behind.”

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From L-R Rev Harold Good, Jim Wilson, Retired Archbishop Alan Harper , Jackie McDonald, Rev Norman Hamilton at a Press Conference at the Linen Hall Library on Monday. The three groups issued a statement on Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, saying they will not tolerate criminality in their ranks. Credit: Photo Pacemaker Press

The combined loyalist statement said: "We fully support the rule of law in all areas of life and emphatically condemn all forms of criminal activity. Individuals who use criminality to serve their own interests at the expense of loyalist communities are an affront to the true principles of loyalism."

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