Last weekend, the great and the good from Sinn Fein (SF) gathered in Dublin for their annual conference.
In a further attempt to rewrite their own murky past, we watched them move from a shady reality to some form of SF wonderland.
As SF continue to posture, it is important that the media, electorate and indeed, even Sinn Fein (both in Northern Ireland and the Republic or Ireland) remember that with power comes responsibility and with responsibility comes scrutiny.
So, let us help SF recover from this bad bout of political amnesia with the medicine of truth. Mary Lou crassly proclaimed at the SF Ard-fheis that “The days of Fenians need not apply are over” (October 31, see link below).
Are they for real? This, coming from the same SF whose own Department for Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, in 2012 became the only Executive Minister to ever be found guilty of discriminating against an applicant on the basis of religion, in this case a Protestant.
This, coming from the same SF whose then MP for West Tyrone in 2017 carried a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head in an apparent mocking of the victims of the Kingsmill Massacre on the anniversary of an atrocity which seen the brutal assassination of 10 innocent protestant workmen. I mean, am I missing something?
It is important to note that SF and their Provisional IRA bedfellows’ record of discrimination did not just apply to Protestants, or indeed to Northern Ireland. The biggest obstacle and deterrent for those of a Catholic background progressing in public life was indeed these very people.
That Provisional IRA are the same organisation that murdered Garda officers Desmond McCabe and Frank Hand and the same organisation who disappeared Jean McConville, leaving her 10 children motherless.
Monday 1st November marked the anniversary of the abduction and murder of Columba McVeigh by the Provisional IRA. To this day, his body has not been found, a mother and father who have now passed on, unable to afford their son a Christain burial. How callous, how cruel.
So, when SF attempt to cartwheel away from the party associated with kneecapping and kidnapping to the new party of law and order, ask yourself the question, do their words match their deeds?
Jonathan Buckley, MLA, Upper Bann
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