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Unionist parties are blasted over report response

By David Gordon

A former cross-community councillor who was targeted by UDA pipe bombers has slammed unionist politicians over their response to the O'Loan collusion report.

Mark Langhammer said loyalist killer gangs like the Mount Vernon UVF in north Belfast had preyed on their own communities for years.

"The Police Ombudsman's conclusions should be a matter of immense concern to anyone who claims to represent these areas," he said.

"Are the unionist parties really saying that police should shelter people involved in murder, intimidation, drug dealing and extortion?"

Mr Langhammer was an independent Labour member of Newtownabbey council for 12 years, representing an area that included the Rathcoole estate.

In 2001, the UDA placed a pipe bomb under his car after he had supported the establishment of a Rathcoole policing clinic.

The ex-councillor also said investigations in the wake of the O'Loan report should examine Special Branch's handling of informants within the UDA in north Belfast and Newtownabbey.

"The UDA turned Newtownabbey into Northern Ireland's principal killing field in the early 2000s," he added.

Mr Langhammer now sits on the Irish Labour Party's national executive.

He facilitated discussions between campaigning father Raymond McCord and Irish Labour leader Pat Rabbitte, leading to Mr Rabbitte levelling allegations under parliamentary privilege about police informers in the Mount Vernon UVF.

Belfast Telegraph


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