On February 23rd we published an article entitled ‘Failure to win over unionists doesn’t mean Sinn Fein’s charm offensive is failing’.
The article was an analysis of Sinn Fein’s strategy to unionists, and included a reference to the futility of convicted bomber Martina Anderson being appointed as the head of Sinn Fein’s Department of Unionist Engagement.
We described her appointment as being akin to the DUP putting Gregory Campbell MP in charge of winning over nationalist votes.
Our intention was to emphasise that Martina Anderson has very little prospect of engaging with unionists and unionism, because of her past conviction. It was certainly never our intention to suggest that Mr Campbell is, or ever has been, guilty of any criminal activity or is a terrorist. We acknowledge that Mr Campbell has engaged actively over many years speaking at events in predominantly Nationalist and Republican areas, in reaching out across Northern Ireland’s political divide.
Accordingly we are happy to both make it clear that Mr Campbell has never engaged in terrorism or criminal activity, and to apologise to Mr Campbell for any embarrassment or distress that may have been caused to him.