The North Belfast MLA said
“It’s time there was a proper conversation as to why we have seen an upsurge of incidents where people seek to glorify the IRA. That conversation needs to take place primarily within nationalism. Sinn Fein must accept that their attempt to blur the rights and wrongs of the past is perpetuating it today.
Michelle O’Neill tells dissident republicans that “these people that reach for the past need to hear that it’s not available to them”, but what she is really saying is that reaching for the past is only available to Sinn Fein.
On the same weekend as Arlene and others celebrated “Local Women” Michelle O’Neill was celebrating and “honouring” an IRA gunrunner in the Republic of Ireland.
Similarly, Michelle O’Neill claims that there was “no alternative” to IRA terrorism, yet those who copy the IRA’s tactics today she says “are wrong”. It is sadly predictable that such deliberate doublespeak by Sinn Fein inspires a new generation to glorify IRA terrorism, even to the face of an IRA victim, whilst other republicans seek to emulate the very same actions of the IRA and engage in acts of terrorism against police officers and others.
All of these incidents are connected and related. The common thread is the lack of challenge to those who have failed to provide political leadership.”