UUP Council leader says trust has broken down

Derek Hussey, UUP, Strabane Council
Derek Hussey, UUP, Strabane Council

Local Councillor Derek Hussey says he’s bewildered at the surprise expressed by some at Mike Nesbitt’s proposal that the UUP leave the Executive and is 100 per cent behind the move.

He says trust has broken down in the wake of the Kevin McGuigan murder.

The Ulster Unionist Councillor from Castlederg said: “I fail to understand, to the point of surprise, that there are those who still think that ‘all is well in the house.’

“This is about trust. Sinn Féin have regularly shattered any trust that may have existed.

“A founding principle of the 1998 Belfast Agreement was the opportunity to build mutual trust between Unionism, Loyalism, Nationalism and Republicanism.

“Once again we find that Sinn Féin are in denial about the existence of the IRA. We`ve heard it all before from Sinn Fein.

“We don`t deny the existence of the UVF, UDA, Red Hand Commando and other paramilitary groups.

“Sinn Féin continue to be in denial about the murder of Mr McGuigan and others. They were murdered by members of the IRA. Therefore there is no trust. Our Party cannot develop this Trust - that is a matter for Sinn Féin.”

Alderman Hussey, who is a representative for the Derg electoral area on the new Derry City and Strabane District Council, said he wants all terror groups to go away for good.

However, he pointed to George Hamilton’s recent comments about the IRA organisation.

“The Chief Constable has been clear that the Provisional IRA exists with a command structure at a senior level and that its members, in co-operation with another criminal gang called Action Against Drugs, murdered a man on the streets of Belfast.”

He also blasted claims that the UUP proposal was a form of electioneering.

“On political opportunism – we won`t be taking any lectures from Sinn Féin. Look at what Sinn Féin have done on Welfare Reform. They performed a political handbrake turn on Welfare Reform immediately after their conference in Londonderry after being told by their southern command that it would damage their political prospects in the Republic of Ireland.

“The same can be said about the Alliance Party. They are sitting in two ministerial seats to which they aren`t entitled, given their electoral strength. The SDLP, it appears, continue to offer succour to Sinn Féin both at Stormont and within our local Councils.

“The Ulster Unionist Party remain committed to devolution and building a Northern Ireland that is totally peaceful and wherein everyone prospers “But only in the proper context and circumstances. These do not exist at present and the enactment of such lies solely within the remit of Sinn Féin or, in the absence of such, on the other Executive Parties joining us to say out - enough is enough.”

In conclusion the Ulster Unionist Group Leader on Derry City and Strabane District Council added: “We fully and unreservedly support and endorse the position currently proposed by the Ulster Unionist Leader, Mike Nesbitt.”