Arlene Foster attacks Michelle O’Neill over IRA event following ‘Time For Truth’ rally

Michelle O'Neill posted this image on Twitter following the commemoration event for Peadar McElvanna
Michelle O'Neill posted this image on Twitter following the commemoration event for Peadar McElvanna

DUP leader Arlene Foster has criticised Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill for attending a commemoration for an IRA man shortly after the ‘Time for Truth’ rally in Belfast.

Families of those killed at Loughinisland, Ballymurphy, Bloody Sunday and the Sean Graham bookmakers shop were among those who took part in the rally in Belfast on Saturday.

Several thousand people, including campaign groups, took the streets of Belfast city centre to call for action on dealing with the legacy of the past.

In the second Time for Truth march, victims of the Troubles marched in three separate groups to Belfast City Hall carrying black flags, banners and pictures of their loved ones.

They have vowed to continue their campaign for truth.

But shortly after attending that march, Sinn Fein Northern Ireland leader Michelle O’Neill attended a commemoration for Peadar McElvanna, described by An Poblacht as an “IRA volunteer”, in Keady on Sunday.

McElvana was killed in a gun battle with the SAS near Keady on June 9, 1979.

Arlene Foster highlighted Mrs O’Neill’s attendance at the commemoration event on Twitter.

“The #TimeforTruth hashtag was dropped before eulogising someone who went out with the sole aim of causing death and destruction,” Mrs Foster said.

She added: “Anyone recasting the IRA’s terrorism as a campaign for ‘equality and justice’ is blind to the truth and to the pain of their victims.”

After the commemoration in Keady, Mrs O’Neill also took to social media website Twitter.

“Delighted to join with the family and friends of Vol Peadar McElvanna on his 40th anniversary,” she wrote.

“A very dignified and fitting commemoration. Well done everyone.”