[Sinn Fein]

21st January 1999

Hutchinson's comments disgraceful

Sinn Fein Assembly member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has described comments attributed to Billy Hutchinson as dangerous and disgraceful.

Mr. Kelly said:

``The comments in an interview in the Belfast Telegraph by Billy Hutchinson are both dangerous and disgraceful. Threats of Loyalist violence whether implicit or explicit are unhelpful.

``Billy Hutchinson and the PUP, rather than threatening dire consequences if the process does not succeed should be using whatever influence they may have on the Ulster Unionists to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is implemented in its entirety.

``These unfortunate comments will give succour to the so-called Orange Volunteers and the Red Hand Defenders who will interpret them as vindication for their attacks on nationalists. Billy Hutchinson and David Ervine cannot on the one hand condemn these organisations and on the other threaten even worse if they don't get what they want.''ENDS

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