SF demand respect yet display contempt for IRA victims

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The sorry saga about the playground in Newry named after an IRA killed rolls on and on.

The determination of republicans to name the play area after Raymond McCreesh is a stark illustration of how they view their Protestant neighbours.

Only a very naive person would be surprised at this conduct.

Sinn Fein councillors seem inclined to make those minority unionist communities over which they have control feel uncomfortable in every way that they can.

Typically, this is done via the use of flags or the Irish language. That they can behave in such a triumphalist and unpleasant manner and still plenty of people in the political centre ground are lining up beside Sinn Fein to support their demands to strengthen Irish language provisions is a sorry testimony to the extent to which republicans are allowed by society at large to get away with their sectarianism.

The most unpleasant way in which republicans make Protestant minorities feel uncomfortable is via celebrations of IRA murderers.

They have done this in Castlederg, where the minority population suffered so much from IRA terrorism.

Michelle O’Neill paid tribute to the East Tyrone murderers, finally stopped by the SAS at Loughgall in 1987, but only long after they had massacred Protestants with near impunity.

Now the SDLP in Newry displays no inclination to stand up to such cheer leading for terrorism.

The only glimmer of hope in this sorry affair is the fact that the SDLP leadership is still staying that the naming was “wrong and caused hurt to victims”.

But Tony Blair and Bill Clinton and others who have urged political leaders to reach a deal here, 20 years after the Belfast Agreement, might want to reflect on the hypocrisy of Sinn Fein demands for respect, equality and integrity, as a stipulation for the return of Stormont, while showing repeated disrepect, indeed contempt, for IRA victims.