Five questions for Michelle O’Neill

DUP Newry & Armagh MLA William Irwin has called on Sinn Fein to explain how an event eulogising IRA members in South Armagh will “mend the hurt of the past”. It follows comments from Michelle O’Neill defending the attendance of John Finucane MP at the event.

By William Irwin MLA

Newry & Armagh

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Mr Irwin said,

“Michelle O’Neill’s words don’t match reality. It is entirely correct to say that many different families are grieving. What she fails to explain however is how organising something that is effectively a carnival, complete with music and children’s entertainment does anything to deal with anyone’s grief. Most notably however for those innocent victims, this event glorifies the terrorists who made so many victims in Northern Ireland.

This event is not about “healing the wounds of the past”, rather it appears specifically tailored to encourage a new generation to revel in the actions which caused many of those wounds.

Specifically, Michelle O’Neill and anyone else attending this event needs to explain:

1. Exactly who and what they are commemorating?

2. Does it include those who carried out the murders at Kingsmills and at Tullyvallen?

3. Does it include those who engaged in torture and other human rights abuses?

4. Does it include those members of the IRA itself who were killed by their own organisation after being suspected as informants, or only those who pulled the trigger?

5. Does it include those who engaged in organised crime to fund their own lifestyle as well as funding terrorism?

Sinn Fein may want to keep a foot in the past whilst telling innocent victims to keep their “eyes towards the future” but if republicans are going to eulogise psychopathic killers then they can expect to be held to account.”

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