Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson has praised the work of the Resurgam Trust in Lisburn for its work in transforming loyalist communities.
Mr Donaldson was speaking following the murder of John Boreland in North Belfast as questions were being asked about the future of loyalist paramilitary organisations.
“In the aftermath of the murder of John Boreland in North Belfast, people are rightly asking the question why loyalist paramilitaries continue to exist and engage in criminal and terrorist activity,” said Mr Donaldson.
“I believe this is a valid question and yet we can point to real progress made in many parts of Northern Ireland where paramilitaries no longer operate as criminal organisations.
“Lisburn is a good example of where that progress is being made and we have seen the transformation of many local communities through community development work and people previously involved in paramilitary organisations now being involved in community development work and leaving the past behind them.
“If we take the excellent example of the Resurgam Trust, where a number of people in positions in the Trust are former prisoners who got caught up in the Troubles, but whose lives have been transformed and who are making a positive contribution and helping communities to transition away from the dark days of the Troubles to make a better future.
“Whilst I am not suggesting the situation in Lisburn is perfect, I do think we can hold this up as a clear example of how transition can be taken forward and how communities can be freed from paramilitary control and enjoy the benefits of an improved outlook.”