The Ulster Unionist Councillors’ Association held their AGM in the Royal Hotel, Cookstown on Saturday. Councillor Trevor Wilson was re-elected Chair of the Association and Councillor Sam Nicholson, Vice-Chair. The Party Leader Robin Swann MLA also addressed the meeting.
Councillor Trevor Wilson said:
"The Ulster Unionist Party's councillors play a key role in Councils across Northern Ireland and will continue to do so at all levels of society including the current talks.
"We discussed a range of issues including the ongoing talks which have just resumed and it was clear that everyone is very concerned about the proposals for dealing with the past. There is nothing we have seen so far that could give comfort to people who are sickened by the seemingly perpetual attempts to smear the security forces - including the police, army and intelligence services - who prevented Northern Ireland from slipping into civil war in the face of a vicious terrorist onslaught during the Troubles. This has to stop. No other country in the world would stand for it.
“The situation is already bad enough as it is, with soldiers and policemen being dragged through the courts and facing one form of inquiry or another. If we are not careful, these latest proposals could make the situation even worse. The current imbalance is one thing, but I fear the situation can only be exacerbated by the creation of the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU), a de facto international parallel police force charged with investigating the past, which, together with other associated bodies could prove to be a licence for terrorists and their apologists to re-write history in an attempt to erase the bravery of the security forces during the Troubles, from the history books.
"Thankfully people are waking up to this fact and we will do our utmost to make sure that something is done about it.”
Ulster Unionist Leader, Robin Swann MLA said:
"We had a good discussion on Saturday and it is very clear that there is increasing concern across Northern Ireland about the proposals for dealing with legacy during the current phase of the talks. We seem to be charging headlong towards creating another layer of structures to try and ensnare former and current members of the security forces, whilst terrorists and their apologists are running around with comfort letters in their back pockets, able to observe from afar, knowing that they are unlikely to be touched. It's perverse."