No hurt intended: DUP duo clarify Davy Tweed statements of condolence
Two DUP politicians have said they did not intend to “add to any hurt” suffered by victims of abuse when they made statements of condolence following the death of Davy Tweed.
Tweed, a former Irish rugby international and unionist politician, died in a road crash in Co Antrim last month.
Mr Tweed was convicted of child sex offences in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was released in October 2016 after his convictions were quashed due to the way that the jury had been directed at his original trial.
Following Tweed’s death, his stepdaughter Amanda Brown said he was a paedophile and a violent thug, and challenged politicians who put out complimentary statements in the wake of his death.
Ms Brown became Mr Tweed’s stepdaughter when she was four after her mum became involved with him.
She said outside the home he was a well-respected man, particularly with his rugby career, before becoming an elected councillor for the DUP.He went on to join the TUV.
DUP MP Ian Paisley and MLA Mervyn Storey were among those who made statements of condolence following the death. In a joint statement released to RTE, the two politicians said they “want nothing to take away from the subsequent powerful and distressing words of his daughters who have bravely told of the horrific abuse they suffered”.
They added: “It was never our intention to add to any hurt suffered nor would we ever be dismissive of any victim of abuse. No one could be but devastated by these accounts and we have always sought to support and enable abuse victims to come forward by supporting Women’s Aid and other such fantastic organisations.”
Last week, Ms Brown said some of the sentiments in the statements were “massively disrespectful to all victims of abuse”. “When people are passing comment about this great man after knowing what he was convicted of, to still support him, that’s the message that they’re giving out to other victims,” she said.
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