Reports of racist attacks are commonplace in the local media, and the issue was the focus for a Belfast Telegraph report yesterday. Such attacks have occured right across the north of Ireland in the past, as the report illustrates. But a number of political representatives have been criticised in the past for making (at best) remarks which amounted to less than forthright criticism of the perpetrators of such incidents, and (at worst) highly controversial remarks which could be interpreted as incitement or plainly derogatory.
In his latest controversial pronouncements to the Antrim Guardian newspaper (not online), Antrim-based UPRG spokesman Darren Smyth has had a go at the ethnic minority community in the town, claiming that there was evidence of “growing criminality” within minority communities (oh the irony!), before asserting that he would always look after “the white British community” before any other.
The leading loyalist further alleged that the Eastern Europeans in the town “are all devout Catholics…you only have to look at the number of foreign nationals who are at Mass on Sunday morning-” although he did not elaborate on the sources for this information.
Whilst Mr. Smyth is not an elected figure within the borough, his comments are worthy of note, given the close relationship between the UPRG and the UDA.