East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has condemned the threats made to journalists and politicians – including his Party colleagues Steve Aiken OBE and Doug Beattie MC – by the South East Antrim UDA.
Roy Beggs MLA said,
“It is deplorable that over the weekend when we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe against Nazi fascism, that journalists in Northern Ireland are not free to express their viewpoint but are being threatened by the South East Antrim UDA.
“Furthermore, the same group has now taken it upon themselves to threaten politicians, including Steve Aiken MLA, a retired Royal Navy nuclear submarine commander who was recognised by the Queen with the award of an OBE for operations in the Middle East, and Doug Beattie MLA who served Queen and Country for 34 years and who was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for his actions in Iraq, and the Military Cross for his bravery in Afghanistan. There are also reports of a threat to Patsy McGlone MLA, a current Assembly Deputy Speaker and Stephen Farry of the Alliance Party.
“No democracy can tolerate threats against a free press and elected politicians. The people responsible for these threats call themselves loyalists, yet they are threatening the Queen’s loyal subjects, who have served in HM Forces. The question arises, what kind of loyalism is this? And to whom are they loyal, other than themselves?”