Sinn Fein’s IRA “apology” exposed

DUP Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has challenged the Sinn Fein leadership to provide an unequivocal and fulsome apology for the barbaric activities of the IRA’s so-called internal security unit.

By Carla Lockhart MP

Upper Bann

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On Tuesday the previous Commissioner for Victims and Survivors in Northern Ireland advised MPs that comments made by the First Minister Michelle O’Neill following the publication of the Operation Kenova Interim Report would not be considered an apology under any international definition.

Reacting, Ms Lockhart said:

‘‘The Operation Kenova Interim Report lifts the lid on the sordid and murderous activities of the Provisional IRA during the Troubles.

The Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who formerly led the investigation, has described how ‘‘even within the context of the wickedness of the IRA, the internal security unit took evil acts to a new level.’’

Despite warped attempts to rewrite history, we must never lose sight of the fact that these crimes were commissioned and carried out by terrorists during a brutal and premeditated campaign of bloodshed.

Following publication of the Report, the First Minister Michelle O’Neill said that she was ‘‘sorry for all the lives lost during the conflict’’ but former Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson has expressed a clear view that this falls well short of an apology as defined ‘in any kind of international or Northern Ireland practice’

Given that tens of millions of pounds were spent on Operation Kenova without a single prosecution, a fulsome, direct and unequivocal apology from the republican leadership is the least the families of the victims deserve. Yet it is something Sinn Fein seem intent on denying on them.

Fleeting references to regret for all loss of life do not scratch the surface when it comes to dealing with the legacy of IRA violence in countless families. Nor do they address the repugnant double standard on display when the republican movement habitually glorify those who perpetrated such human rights abuses, whilst at the same claiming to support truth and justice for the victims.

The challenge now facing the Sinn Fein leadership is simple. Will they uphold the standards they demand from others on legacy and finally apologise specifically and unequivocally to each of the Kenova families?’’

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