SF should remember Maze breakout with shame: DUP MP

Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson should be 'ashamed' rather than proud of the 1983 Maze Prison breakout, DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said.

Monday, 26th September 2016, 7:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:41 pm
An image of the tweet from Ms Anderson

Ms Anderson used the word “proud” in a tweet to mark Sunday’s 33-year anniversary of the prison escape, alongside an artistic depiction of a fist breaking out of the prison.

Whilst Sinn Feinsaid many republicans recall the prison escape with pride, Gregory Campbell said Sinn Fein were “still stuck remembering incidents with pride that most people would ashamed of”.

Mr Campbell said: “The fact that she uses the word proud to describe an incident where two prison officers were attacked, one of whom subsequently died as a result of the attack, shows the type of thinking Martina Anderson has.

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“I think people in both communities would be anything but proud of an attack like that.

“The fact that Martina Anderson and Sinn Fein keep recalling the prison break-out, unfortunately leaves us with the knowledge that they have a significant distance yet to travel.

“I think Sinn Fein have not yet grasped the fact that the wider community has moved well beyond that.

“I think they [Sinn Fein] are still stuck with remembering incidents with pride that most people would be ashamed of.

“What Sinn Fein are doing, and this is an example of it, is trying to have their cake and eat it.

“They want to remember the past as if it was something that was justifiable when nearly everyone else knows that it was totally unjustifiable.

“They have moved into a different place now but they don’t want to criticise the past that they did engage in, and that Martina Anderson engaged in.”

Martina Anderson was unavailable for comment but a Sinn Fein spokesperson said: “In the late 1970s and early 1980s republican prisoners in Long Kesh were subjected to a brutal regime of beatings and oppression.

“The escape from Long Kesh by 38 republicans in 1983 is remembered with pride by many republicans as it is the internationally-recognised duty of prisoners of war to attempt to escape.

“In the aftermath of the deaths of 10 republican hunger strikers in 1981 the escape lifted the morale of the republican community.

“We regret any loss of life during the course of the conflict.”