Mary Lou McDonald’s own fingers have never pulled a trigger nor detonated a bomb, however her words and actions in response to those who did continue to have a chilling and deeply damaging impact upon the lives of those innocents who were so grievously harmed.
The Sinn Fein/PIRA president in waiting has associated herself with a number of commemorative events to those within the republican movement, many of whom were serial killers who murdered their own neighbours because of sectarian and ethnic motivated hatreds.
Whether you’re an actual terrorist, someone who romanticises or glorifies acts of terrorism or are someone who seeks to dilute the effects of terrorism through explaining it away as an unfortunate yet necessary outcome – you are the problem and not part of a better solution.
There are those within ‘republicanism’ and ‘loyalism’ who clutch to class warfare, that the violence was an unfortunate necessity due to injustices experienced by the working classes.
Whatever of the injustice which existed within this society or any other society, morality and respect for the sanctity of human life is not dictated by class background and those who suggest otherwise are insulting tens of thousands of people.
Innocent Victims United (IVU) continues to insist that the means to which we might bring about societal and individual reconciliation requires states, proscribed organisations and their political party annexes to show courage in affirming that:
We accept that no grievance, enmity or political objective justified the use of criminal violence in what became known as the Northern Ireland Troubles.
If this foundation stone was in place then there is the potential to meaningfully deal with the legacy of the past as well as smash the justification for future violence.
Let’s be clear violence and civil strife stymied this place and its people for generations.
Isn’t it time that people were given something better?
This is our challenge to Mary Lou McDonald, to the Sinn Fein/PIRA movement of which she will soon be president and all other political parties.
Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United, Fermanagh