Remembering Edgar Graham, murdered in a savage IRA attack

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

In recent months Sinn Fein has issued various red lines for the return of Stormont.

At different times, the red lines have shifted.

Gay marriage has been cited, as has a Bill of Rights.

For months, an Irish language act was the key demand.

When republicans first collapsed the institutions, they demanded that Arlene Foster step aside. In other words, Sinn Fein felt entitled to dictate who led unionism. You can imagine the outcry if unionists tried the reverse.

Currently Sinn Fein is busy making maximum political mischief on both sides of the border over Brexit.

But all along, Sinn Fein has been adamantly insisting that the new legacy structures are put in place. This is because it cherishes above all the legacy inquests into deaths at the hands of the state that, it thinks, will justify IRA terrorism.

Nothing more perfectly illustrates the moral zone in which Northern Ireland finds itself than the fact that the group that was once considered to be the political wing of one of the world’s leading terrorist groups is not hiding from the past, but confident the UK state will assist its version of it.

Meanwhile, nationalist Ireland has repeatedly demanded an inquiry into the Troubles murder of one man, Pat Finucane.

Today is the 34th anniversary of the murder of a much less often mentioned lawyer, Edgar Graham, also an academic and politician, shot on the verge of Queen’s University in Belfast in a calculating, sectarian IRA atrocity.

This intelligent, thoughtful, moderate man (who was rightly robust on how to tackle terrorism through the courts) was killed not only because the IRA did not like what he had to say, but because he had ability and potential.

Northern Ireland cannot now embark on legacy processes unless it is clear that they will be funded across the board, with roughly pro rata allocations per outstanding death, in a way that makes it likely they will shed light on murders such as this one (including information on who ordered, carried out and assisted them), which were the epitome of terror.