Belfast’s Sinn Fein Lord Mayor has told how his parents’ home was attacked by republicans and criticised IRA tactics during the Troubles.
In an interview where he stressed that he wanted to respect unionist culture and acknowledged that the removal of the Union Flag from Belfast City Hall caused great hurt, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir recalled how his mother’s friend, Martha Crawford, was killed in crossfire by the IRA.
Speaking to The Irish Catholic, the publisher of the Andersonstown News recalled how his parents had been implacably opposed to violence and started a peace movement which the IRA squashed and “republicans put our windows in”.
The Sinn Fein Lord Mayor said that his parents were “absolutely right” to oppose violence: “How could any parent support guerrilla warfare in an urban area?
“We knew so many people who ended up dead.”
However, he added that as a young person “in my gut” he supported “those who fought back” and “identified with the IRA”.
In answer to a question he said: “No, I wouldn’t say the campaign was wrong.”
But he later cited with apparent approval the Welsh language movement who “didn’t use fire because once you use fire innocents will perish, you have no control over it”.