UVF admits Seawright was member

 

The UVF has admitted that a former hardline unionist councillor, murdered by republicans in 1987, was one of its members.

George Seawright (36), once expelled from the DUP for sectarian remarks, was shot in 1987 by the Irish People's Liberation Organisation, which had split from the INLA. He has been named by the UVF in a publication which details its members killed during the Troubles.

Mr Seawright once suggested that Belfast City Council should buy an incinerator "to burn Roman Catholics and their priests", a remark similar to one made to Belfast Education and Library Board. His expulsion from the DUP soon followed.

He appeared in court a number of times and was jailed for six months in 1987 for disorderly behaviour.

David Ervine, leader of the UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party, said the admission was significant.

"Maybe there's an optimum moment to do that, when you think that you have completed the list and the likelihood of your list being added to is minimised because of the conditions that operate in our country now," he told the BBC.

"They can speak for themselves, but I would like to interpret it that perhaps they are recognising that the war is over."

Sinn Féin Assembly member for West Belfast Fra McCann said that the admission raised serious questions for Ian Paisley to answer.

"This revelation exposes once again Ian Paisley and the DUP hypocrisy when it comes to the issue of loyalist violence," said Mr McCann.

"Time and again clear links between the DUP and loyalist death squads have been established. Time and again the media allow the DUP leader off the hook. It is now time for the DUP and Ian Paisley to come clean and to live up to their responsibilities in bringing an end to unionist paramilitary campaigns and use their undoubted influence to see them engage with the IICD.

"The days of DUP hypocrisy on the issue of unionist violence must end if progress is to be secured."