[Sinn Fein]

12 November 1998

LVF recognition questionable

Statement from Mitchel McLaughlin, Foyle assembly member, responding to the decision by the British government to accept the LVF ceasefire.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Mr. Trimble will be pleased by today's decision. He argued for the acceptance of the LVF ceasefire. Does this mean he accepts that they are now committed to entirely peaceful means ? If he does will he explain why he refuses to accept the efforts that Sinn Fein have made to the development of the peace process.

``The British government's decision comes as no surprise. It has been expected for some time.

``However people will wonder at the timing o it given the sectarian killing of Brian Service and the gun attack on a bar in west Belfast a few weeks ago and the organised loyalist attacks in different parts of Belfast in recent days. These incidents have been directly linked to the LVF.

``It is widely believed that the Red Hand Defenders is a flag of convenience for the LVF. The two areas where the LVF are currently strongest are also the strongholds of the RHD.''

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