Tag Archives: ulster unionist

‘Intimidating’ Larne graffiti condemned

A local councillor is urging the public to “let the PSNI police the community” after extensive grafitti appeared throughout Larne and Glenarm. UUP Councillor and Chair of Mid and East Antrim PCSP Andrew Wilson spoke out after the appearance of several signs bearing the words “House Breakers” alongside a symbol of a circle containing a cross. Graffiti on the former Poundstretchers building in Lower Cross Street. INLT-52-704-con Two such slogans were scrawled across Larne’s Laharna building at Riverdale, while another appeared on the boarded-up doors of the former Poundstretchers store in Lower Cross Street and a third was spotted on a wall in Fleet Street. There were also reports of a slogan in Boyne Square, Linn Road and Antiville. Meanwhile, two similar slogans were spotted in the neighbouring village of Glenarm. PSCP Chair Mr Wilson condemned the graffiti, which he said appeared to be “a form of vigilantism.” Graffiti at … Continue reading

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Pressure builds on health bosses to publish Muckamore report amid abuse probe

Pressure is mounting on health bosses over the continued refusal to publish a review of patient safety at a hospital for the severely learning disabled and mentally ill. A major criminal investigation is ongoing into the alleged abuse of patients by staff at Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Co Antrim. The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust commissioned a review of adult safeguarding at the facility, the findings of which were made known to families at the beginning of the week. The review found that CCTV footage showed patients being harmed by staff while other staff did not speak out, along with a host of other failings. The Trust’s continued refusal to publish the report — with information to identify patients redacted if necessary — has been roundly condemned by politicians from most of the major parties in Northern Ireland, alongside families of Muckamore patients. The father of a severely learning … Continue reading

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Family of Ballycarry murder victim calls for ‘open and transparent’ parole process

The family of murdered Ballycarry woman Nichola Dickson claim they were “kept in the dark” over her killer’s release from prison. Twenty-six-year-old Nichola was brutally murdered by her partner, David McCord, at her Ballycarry home in 2003. McCord was sentenced to a minimum of 11 years behind bars, but has been back on the streets since July under a pre-release scheme. Shocked to learn that McCord has effectively been released six months early, Nichola’s brother Gareth Smyth and her mother Linda Brown have paid a visit to Attorney General John Larkin, QC, to discuss the case. The pair spoke to Mr Larkin of their displeasure at the “lack of information” available to them surrounding McCord’s release. Gareth told the Times: “We have been virtually excluded from the parole process, and have been shown no proof that McCord has been rehabilitated. “We got a vague letter in July informing us that … Continue reading

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Our predictions for the north’s 18 constituencies on polling day

<!– –> NORTH BELFAST North Belfast is a constituency where changing demographics and key and boundary changes have marginally increased the nationalist population. Nigel Dodds has held the seat since 2001 when the DUP snatched victory from the UUP and in 2015 Mr Dodds secured 19,096 votes to Gerry Kelly’s 13,770. Mr Dodds success at holding the seat for a fourth time was made possible by an electoral pact with the UUP. Sinn Féin are currently buoyed by a re-invigorated nationalist electorate but the party do not take their seats in Westminster and have in the past struggled to get their voters enthused by the prospect of voting for a parliament they barely recognise. The SDLP have ruled out electoral pacts with Sinn Féin in the past but the 3,338 votes the party secured in 2015, may provide Kelly with the greatest chance of victory. For the DUP to lose … Continue reading

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Muckamore Abbey abuse probe: Parties back calls for public inquiry

Families’ calls for a public inquiry into the abuse of disabled patients at a specialist hospital in Co Antrim have been backed by politicians. Calls for an inquiry into the abuse of patients at Muckamore Abbey Hospital have been backed by the DUP, Sinn Fein and the SDLP. A major criminal investigation into the hospital, an inpatient facility for adults with severe mental health problems and severe learning disabilities, has been ongoing for some time but has yet to result in any charges being brought forward. Police, with the assistance of the National Crime Agency, are believed to be reviewing thousands of hours of CCTV footage, which is said to show patients being badly mistreated by staff. At least 13 staff members have been suspended by the Belfast Trust, who have repeatedly apologised to families. The father of a patient at Muckamore told the News Letter that senior police had … Continue reading

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