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May 12, 2006

No Heaven For Catholics Says DUP Man

No Heaven For Catholics Says DUP Man

05/12/06 12:12 EST

A Democratic Unionist Party councillor in Northern Ireland
has sparked anger after he claimed that a 15 year old youth
murdered in a sectarian attack in Ballymena last weekend
"will not get into heaven" because he was a Catholic.

As the family of Michael McIlveen prepare for his burial,
DUP politician Roy Gillespie said he would not attend
Monday’s funeral because it is being held in a Catholic church.

Mr Gillespie is a close colleague of DUP leader Ian Paisley.
He said he prayed that Catholics would be saved. He said
that, if Catholics did not repent before they died, they
"will not get into heaven".

"As a Catholic, he [Michael McIlveen] won’t get into heaven
unless he has been saved. If he did not repent before he
died and asked the Lord into his heart, he will not get into
heaven. Catholics are not accepted into heaven."

Responding to Mr Gillespie’s comments, North Antrim Sinn
Fein assembly member Philip McGuigan said: "Mr Gillespie’s
sentiments are disgraceful, especially as they come so soon
after a 15-year-old was murdered as a result of sectarian
bigotry. This is the kind of attitude that causes others to
carry out attacks fuelled by religious hatred. There is no
excuse for these comments."

Meanwhile, a Protestant church leader has met the McIlveen
family, and urged other youths not to risk their lives
through "pointless sectarian bravado".

Dr Harry Uprichard, the Presbyterian Moderator in Ireland,
offered sympathy and expressed revulsion at the killing
during his visit to the grieving family’s home in Ballymena,
Co Antrim.

Police who believe Michael, 15, was beaten to death because
of his religion have charged five teenagers with the murder.

After meeting the McIlveens, Dr Uprichard appealed for an
end to the festering sectarian tension in the town.

He said: "I would say to all young people involved in such
activity: `don’t allow yourself to be influenced by those
who would persuade you that you are doing something macho by
being caught up in this."

"It doesn’t have to be like this. There is something better
for you. You live in a town which has so much to offer. You
have a life which is full of so much potential. You have
energy and enthusiasm."

"Use that life wisely. Don’t waste it in a way that brings
no benefit to yourself and may even bring harm to others`."

The clergyman, who was accompanied by Catholic Priest Fr
Sean Connolly, pledged to be available to talk with any
teenagers who want to talk about their anxieties.

He said he was stunned by the attack on Michael last Sunday
as he went with friends to buy a take-away pizza.

"We condemn it and are saddened that such a thing could be
done by one human being to another," Dr Uprichard added.

"I am sure that the Police and other organisations and
agencies within our town will be doing all they can to
prevent a recurrence of such a tragic incident as we have
witnessed this week."

Meanwhile, organisers of a loyalist band parade that is
scheduled to pass the spot where Michael McIlveen was
murdered are understood to be in talks aimed at postponing
the march.

The Ballykeel Loyal Sons of Ulster originally planned to
march through Ballymena on May 20.

Churchmen in the town have asked the band to postpone the
parade to ease tension.

And Sinn Fein yesterday cancelled its north Antrim hunger
strike commemorations to help improve community relations.

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To the American republican who think they know what is going on. He was beaten to death by people because he was as sectarian as they where! His murder was a disgrace and I find it insulting that people try and make the protestant people look to be all the same as those loyalist bigots. There was sectarian agro between two sides of bigots over the website bebo etc and this resulted in someone being killed. You play with sectarian fire then u get burned. Thats the harsch reality.
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