Ulster Unionist Deputy Mayor of Ards and North Down, Carl McClean has condemned Wednesday night’s attack in Bangor on community worker Aaron McMahon by masked men.
Speaking following his attendance at a community rally in support of Mr McMahon, Cllr McClean said:
“Aaron’s volunteering work has changed the lives of children growing up in the Clandeboye village and kept them away from drugs and criminal records. This area of Bangor has never been infected by paramilitarism, and Aaron has had to stand alone to keep it this way since UDA flags appeared by the new children’s playpark in March, and when they tried to take over the peaceful community bonfire. While everyone made it clear the UDA were not welcome, equally no agency was able to provide the necessary support to Aaron against the threats.
“Far more is needed than words; it cannot be business as usual. Local politicians have tried to bring paramilitaries into the political tent but there can be absolutely no place for violence in our society and there should be zero tolerance of those who continue down this path. Finally, the Assembly needs to give proper financial backing to the under-resourced PSNI. Government and Police are there to protect neighbourhoods from harm and fear of harm; we need to give reassurance to communities that we are shoulder to shoulder with them in wanting to rid our society of violent thugs.”