Northern Ireland news

DUP urged to 'clarify' view on Willie Frazer amid loyalist weapons claims

Loyalist Willie Frazer
Connla Young

THE DUP has been urged to clarify its position amid revelations that former loyalist victims campaigner Willie Frazer helped distribute weapons used to kill dozens of Catholics.

The claims were made in a BBC Spotlight documentary broadcast earlier this week.

The programme alleged that Mr Frazer, who died earlier this year following a battle with cancer, played a critical role in distributing assault rifles imported from South Africa by Ulster Resistance in 1987.

The weapons ended up in the hands of the UDA and UVF and have been linked to the deaths of 70 people.

At the time of his death Mr Frazer, from Markethill in Co Armagh, was praised by some unionists.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and her UUP counterpart Robin Swann both attended Mr Frazer’s funeral along with other unionist politicians including TUV leader Jim Allister and East Belfast MP Emma Little Pengelly, whose father Noel Little was a prominent member of Ulster Resistance.

Mrs Foster addressed mourners describing Mr Frazer as “fearless”.

Read More: Willie Frazer's family reject loyalist weapons Spotlight claims

East Derry assembly member John Dallat last night called on the DUP to clarify it position in relation to Mr Frazer.

“They expect the highest standards from other political parties," he said.

“They must clarify their current position – that they have no time with eulogising that type of behaviour that costs hundreds of lives."

He added: “If we are going to have peace in the north we can’t have them flying two kites,” he said.

A spokesman for the DUP said it was "not aware of these comments which have been attributed to Mr Frazer".

But in a statement the party said it stood "foursquare on the rule of law".

"No one is above the law and everyone should be equally subject to it. The lessons from our troubled past should fortify all of us to ensure we are able to make progress based on the rule of law and exclusively peaceful and democratic means."

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