Fears that young people were joining paramilitary groups

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There were fears that young people in Carrick were being encouraged to join loyalist paramilitary groups in November 1985.

PUP Councillor Sammy Stewart made the claims following the signing of the Anglo Irish Agreement.

He said he knew of young people who had been approached by members of “extreme Protestant organisations and asked to join the struggle against the Irish Republic.”

He added: “These young people, some as young as 15 or 16, are being encouraged to join these extreme organisations.

“This is a time when they are particularly vulnerable and with the political climate the way it is at present, the danger is now doubled.”

The former prisoner, who had served time in Long Kesh in the 1970s for possession of explosives continued: “Let the politicians take the lead in the fight against the Anglo Irish Agreement. I condemn utterly these organisations who are using the situation to try to exploit the young.”

Councillor Stewart would not name the groups in question, but said that the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force were not involved.