Grieving mother ordered to leave her home by loyalist paramilitaries, claims Sinn Féin MLA

Grieving mother ordered to leave her home by loyalist paramilitaries, claims Sinn Féin MLA

A SINN FÉIN MLA has claimed a grieving mother was threatened and ordered to leave her Belfast home by loyalist paramilitaries, hours before the house was attacked.

Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA for North Belfast, said she was visited by the woman and her family this evening after they were given 24 hours to leave their home by individuals claiming to represent the UFF (Ulster Freedom Fighters).

Hours after the warning, the woman's house in the Oldpark area of Belfast came under attack and had its windows smashed.

The woman says she is now unable to bring her son home to be waked, after he passed away on Thursday.

Speaking this evening, Ní Chuilín said: “Police have confirmed that the loyalist paramilitary group, the UFF, threatened a woman and ordered her to leave her home in Oldpark today.

“Only hours later her home was attacked and the windows of her home were smashed.

“These shameful and depraved actions were carried in the full knowledge that her son, who died tragically last Thursday, was due to be waked from the family home.

“These sickening actions must be condemned by all and the criminals responsible should pack up and get off the backs of the community.

“The continued existence of these armed groups is a blight on society.

“The PSNI needs to intensify its efforts to remove the scourge of loyalist paramilitaries from our society.

“I would urge anyone with information on today’s incident to bring it forward to the police.”

The UFF was formed as a cover group for members of the UDA (Ulster Defence Association) and carried out paramilitary attacks on Catholics in Northern Ireland.

While the UFF was outlawed in 1973, the UDA was a legal organisation until 1992.

While the organisation declared an end to its campaign in 2007 and claimed its weapons were put beyond use, some members have continued to use the name to engage in criminal activity.