An election candidate with family ties to loyalist paramilitaries has warned of the dangers of politicians like Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill “promoting the misdeeds of the past”.
Adam Millar, whose father Herbie Millar and uncle James Millar were part of the UDA’s C-Company run by Johnny Adair, is running for election as an independent candidate in north Belfast.
The 28-year-old said he wants to help his community step out of the shadow of the paramilitarism.
He said Sinn Fein’s NI leader Michelle O’Neill, who has family links to the IRA through her father and cousins, is not helping the peace process by “flourishing praise” on four IRA men at a recent commemoration in Clonoe.
He commented: “The new leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland has shown us that words used effectively to promote misdeeds of the past weigh significantly on the present’s attempts to find peace.
“Michelle O’Neill has only gone and helped push us all one step backwards, as we fight furiously to find a lasting peace that has for more than 40 years eluded this country and continues to elude us still to this day.”
Of his own situation Mr Millar said: “I’ve seen what paramilitarism does to a family from the inside and from the outside,” he said.
“Some of my family being a part of that when I was growing up was always something that shaped my life. My father and my uncle were close allies of Johnny Adair.
“I never wanted to be involved in that, but I do want to help those people who have got themselves mixed up in it.”