SF ex-minister's tweet on Syria bomb is 'ironic'

An outgoing Stormont minister who tried to blow up Crumlin police station in 1989 has been slammed for empathising with Syrian bomb victims.

Friday, 29th April 2016, 9:51 pm
Updated Friday, 29th April 2016, 10:54 pm

Seventeen people were killed in an air strike on a hospital in Aleppo, blamed on Syrian or Russian war planes.

Outgoing Stormont Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín tweeted: “Heartbreaking watching families in Syria searching through the rubble looking for their loved ones. Hospital destroyed, lives ruined.”

Ní Chuilín was previously an active IRA member. In 1989 she was arrested after trying to bomb Crumlin police station.

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But TUV assembly candidate Henry Reilly said her tweet was “ironic” in light of the IRA bomb attack on Musgrave Park Hospital in 1991 which killed two people.

“Where was Cullan’s expression of sympathy with the victims of that vicious attack?” he asked.

The DUP’s Lord Morrow said: “This tweet is a reminder and demonstration of SF’s vision for Northern Ireland. Arlene Foster has said that if returned as First Minister she will stand against any rewriting of the past and will challenge those who would like to forget their role in the troubles.

“With the unionist vote split in so many directions there is every chance of SF emerging as the largest party and a nationalist majority in the Executive.”

Victims campaigner Ann Travers said: “I find Minister Cullen’s comment hypocritical. I can only hope that one day, Sinn Fein ministers and previous IRA members can feel a similar compassion for all the families they destroyed and acknowledge that what they did was wrong, doing all they can without a “whatabout” to bring truth , justice and peace of mind to their victims.

“I offer unconditionally my compassion and support for all those who have escaped Syria. They have come to a country full of many warm and good people.”