Paramilitary threats leave 433 homeless

Doug Beattie said there could be 'no excuse' for the continued existence of paramilitary groups
Doug Beattie said there could be 'no excuse' for the continued existence of paramilitary groups

Shocking figures which show more than 400 people have been made homeless by paramilitary threats in the last year have been branded a “damning indictment of the NI Executive’s failure”.

The NI Housing Executive has revealed that in 2015/16, 433 people presented themselves as homeless because of threats from loyalist and republican paramilitaries.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said there could be “no excuse” for the continued existence of paramilitary groups almost 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement.

He added: “This is the inevitable consequence of the failure to tackle paramilitary activity in a meaningful manner and to put these criminal gangs out of business.”

Last year, the DUP and Sinn Féin signed the Fresh Start Agreement, which included a commitment to work towards the disbandment of paramilitaries.

“We are one year on from the Fresh Start Agreement and it is shameful that the Executive has only managed to spend £3.8m of what should have been a £10m spend this financial year on addressing paramilitary activity,” Mr Beattie added.