25 April 2017
Newry & Armagh MLA William Irwin has said that an event to commemorate the eight IRA terrorists killed at Loughgall which will be addressed by Michelle O’Neill is another demonstration the Sinn Fein leader does not demonstrate the respect she demands of others.
Deputy Chair of the Infrastructure Committee
Mr Irwin said, “Since her appointment by Gerry Adams, Michelle O’Neill has sought to speak only to a very narrow republican base. Over the last few months there has been no evidence of any desire from Sinn Fein’s new leader to demonstrate the respect she demands from others.
There certainly is little respect demonstrated to the victims of IRA terrorism, choosing instead to describe a group of men who went out with the sole intention of murder and mayhem as “martyrs”.
Right from her first statement as leader within a pre-packaged Sinn Fein video Michelle O’Neill chose to focus on members of the IRA, including those at Clonoe and Loughgall instead of issues which impact on all of the people of Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein’s refusal to restore devolution is again because they have placed their own narrow interests ahead of issues such as health, education and the well-being of all our citizens.
Sunday’s event is another confirmation that Michelle O’Neill appears to place a much greater priority on reaffirming republican attempts to rewrite the past than on building a better future for all of society.”