Wreaths from loyalist terror groups sit alongside DUP and NI Assembly tributes at war memorial

Loyalist supporters gathered at an unofficial war monument, where additional wording states the memorial also remembers those who died ‘in the more recent conflict’

HONOURED: A wreath marked from UDA’s C Battalion

TRIBUTE: Assembly

Hugh JordanSunday World

Wreaths from loyalist paramilitary groups sat alongside those representing the DUP and the Northern Ireland Assembly at a memorial last week.

Several leading DUP politicians lay wreaths at Seymour Hill, near Dunmurry on the outskirts of west Belfast, last Sunday.

But UDA boss Jackie McDonald was also present, and when the Sunday World visited, there were wreaths from the UDA and UVF.

Prior to the wreath laying ceremony, the Govan Protestant Boys from Glasgow led local loyalists in a parade around the estate.

And at around 9am, more than 50 loyalist supporters gathered at an unofficial war monument erected in honour of those who lost their lives in both World Wars.

But additional wording states the memorial also remembers the men and women who died ‘in the more recent conflict’.

A wreath was laid on behalf of the DUP. And another from the Northern Ireland Assembly bore the names of Emma Little-Pengelly and former First Minister Paul Givan.

Earlier this week – following her attendance at a raft of Remembrance Day events – Emma Little-Pengelly took to the internet to pay tribute to family members who served in the armed forces, including her father, who was a member of the Ulster Resistance.

TRIBUTE: Assembly

The Lagan Valley MLA said: “To all those many family member who served – my father and many uncles who served full-time and part-time in the UDR, Army, RUC and Prison Service, during the worst times here. Thank you.”

The war dead memorial at Dunmurry was originally dedicated to deceased UDA boss Brian Morton who was once second in command of the terror group on the estate.

Known as ‘Morty’, the 28-year-old father of two died in 1997 at the height of the Drumcree crisis when a crude pipe bomb he was handling exploded.

The new ‘war memorial’ at Seymour Hill is maintained by local man John Herron. He cleared all leaves and debris from the site before the arrival of the prestigious politicians last Sunday.

He said: “It was a great turnout. Emma and Paul Givan were here and Poots also. And of course Big Jackie was here too. He wouldn’t miss it.”

Repeated attempts on Saturday to contact the DUP failed.

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