DUP MEP Diane Dodds has hit out at Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson over claims she engaged in a “war” over “discrimination” and “human rights”.
Mrs Dodds said those claims were an attempt to “rewrite history”.
The Sinn Féin MEP made her remarks at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, two days after she made headlines for comments directed at Prime Minister Theresa May, whom she had told to “stick her border where the sun doesn’t shine”.
Those comments attracted criticism from DUP MP Sammy Wilson, who said, during an interview on BBC Radio Ulster, that Ms Anderson was “ranting like a fishwife”.
In Brussels on Wednesday, Ms Anderson said: “War is a terrible thing, and my generation went to war over discrimination, inequality, lack of civil rights and the denial of human rights.”
Mrs Dodds, who also spoke in the debate, said she would “never stand back and allow” the “historical revisionism” from Sinn Féin.
“Following on from her well-publicised uncouth and disrespectful rant late on Monday, invoking the lyrics of rebel songs and making distasteful unparliamentary jibes at the UK prime minister, Martina Anderson came to Parliament on Wednesday morning to deliver a similar message,” the DUP MEP explained.
“Martina talked of a ‘war’ that she, and her generation, engaged in for equality and human rights. We have come to expect such historical revisionism from Sinn Fein, but I will never sit back and allow it. Martina’s ‘war’ was in fact a terrorist campaign. She was not manning the trenches or launching raids on terrorist cells.”
Ms Anderson was convicted in June 1986, along with five others, of conspiring to cause explosions, and given a life sentence, but was later released under the Good Friday Agreement. She and the other defendants had planned a bombing campaign in England.
Mrs Dodds continued: “She was part of a terrorist cell, a cell planning indiscriminate bombings on British towns and seaside resorts, not unlike the attacks inflicted upon European cities in recent years.
“When Martina talks of a ‘war’ I think of the innocent men, women and children brutally murdered or maimed on the UK mainland – at Brighton, London, Birmingham, Warrington or Manchester. They weren’t combatants in any war. They were going about their everyday lives; people doing their jobs, eating in restaurants and children shopping for Mother’s Day cards.
“Their murder advanced no cause and granted no rights. Their human right to life was taken from them.Their killings were not the actions of a legitimate army at war, or even of freedom fighters. Martina Anderson ... was a terrorist engaged in murderous criminality, and rightly convicted of the same, and we will ensure that history is not rewritten.”