Twenty five years after the original ceasefires, why are parts of Belfast still immersed in Paramilitary culture?

A telling snippet from the follow up of the killing of community worker Ian Ogle in East Belfast. His daughter Toni Johnston is unhappy with the response of one local paramilitary organisation:

Ms Johnston also questioned the terrorist group the Ulster Volunteer Force over why they were “protecting” the killers. In a statement issued to the Irish News newspaper, the east Belfast UVF “wholeheartedly condemned” the murder.

It said: “Whoever did it did not do it in the name of loyalism or the UVF.” However, Ms Johnston said that statement is an “insult”.

She said she is not blaming the organisation as a whole, but claimed those responsible were using the name of the UVF, and that the UVF had been protecting them.

Which surely prompts the question of why do we still have paramilitary gatekeepers holding unaccountable power over large parts of our most vulnerable communities?

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