Editorial: Sinn Fein keeps being given credit for apologies that are not apologies

News Letter editorial on Thursday March 28 2024:
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Recently Rev Norman Hamilton pointed out in this newspaper that Michelle O’Neill had not apologised over Kenova, yet the BBC reported that she did (click here to read his letter).

​The former Presbyterian moderator noted that Jon Boutcher’s report into the agent Stakeknife called on republican leaders to apologise for IRA "torture and murder” of agents. Rev Hamilton then referred to an article, still on the BBC website (click here to read it), which said that “Ms O'Neill apologised ‘for every single loss of life’”.

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But she clearly didn’t apologise, so why does the BBC – the national broadcaster, with all its resources – continue to say she did? She used Sinn Fein speak of regretting all deaths. Indeed, this newspaper once challenged a Sinn Fein legal academic who said just that about the IRA murder of another academic, Edgar Graham. He said he regretted it and this was reported by a newspaper as if it was a breakthrough. We however repeatedly asked if he condemned that murder of a politician and lawyer whom the IRA wanted to silence, but this then SF politician just repeated his regret. He even described as “harassment” our efforts to get an answer on whether he condemned the Graham murder.

In 2022 we reported Mary Lou McDonald supposedly condemning IRA killings of gardai (click here to read it). In fact she said that “nobody wearing the uniform of An Gardai Siochana should’ve been hurt or harmed”. See the use of the passive? Hurt by what? A hurricane?

Now, again, there has been little media scrutiny of SF saying that the killer of Garda Jerry McCabe, the thug Pearse McAuley, should not have been buried in a Tricolour because he wasn’t a republican due to his domestic violence.So again it falls to the News Letter to ask: is any part of your denunciation because he murdered an Irish policeman? Was such an IRA killing wrong?

They haven’t answered.