While Irish republicans play down their terrorist past, they are funded by the UK to chase UK security forces for historic Troubles claims

News Letter editorial on Monday June 13 2022:

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

Some years ago there was an appalling element to a memorial service to the 1973 Provisional IRA bomb atrocity in Coleraine.

A Sinn Fein mayor was not only present, but she got praise from some sections of the political and the media commentary worlds for attending, as if it was some sort of generous gesture.

But representatives of that republican party speak with a forked tongue on such bombings. They regret them but do not condemn them.

This keeps fooling people. A Sinn Fein politician got praise some years ago for speaking in tones of regret about the heinous murder of the lawyer, academic and politician Edgar Graham. Yet when this newspaper asked the key question — did he condemn it? — he simply repeated again and again his sorrow about the murder, as if unable to grasp the difference between regret at the fact of a killing and condemnation of it.

Imagine a unionist politician being pressed on Bloody Sunday, refusing to condemn the killing of 13 civilians by the Paratroop regiment in 1972, and then having the nerve to show their face in Londonderry at a memorial for that terrible day.

It was the 49th anniversary of the Coleraine massacre yesterday. The new memorial stone for the attack does not use the word atrocity — a word Sinn Fein wanted removed.

Meanwhile, as republicans relentlessly play down their own history, they chase the UK state on legacy.

Their relentless assault on the security forces who prevented civil war is lavishly funded by the present UK state.

We report today on how a mere 29 claims against state forces for Troubles incidents has led to £600,000 in damages paid, with hundreds more unresolved cases before the court.

This shows how right London is to be trying now to shut down the anti state legacy industry. But it should also be initiating unilateral (ie without consultation with the Irish) non criminal inquiries into IRA terrorism, to try to balance the historic investigations against the forces who prevented civil war.