SF's Michelle O'Neill to speak at Loughgall '˜martyrs' event

Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill has been slammed after it was revealed she will speak at an event this weekend commemorating the eight IRA terrorists killed by the SAS at Loughgall.

Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 5:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:19 pm
The leaflet advertising the Loughgall 'commemoration'

O’Neill will be the guest speaker at what Sinn Fein has called the ‘Loughgall Martyrs 30th Anniversary’ at Altmore Chapel in Co Tyrone on Sunday.

Members of the heavily armed IRA gang died when the SAS ambushed their attempt to blow up Loughgall RUC Station on May 8, 1987.

DUP MLA William Irwin said Mrs O’Neill’s decision to speak at the event is another demonstration the Sinn Fein leader does not demonstrate the respect she demands of others.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The eight IRA men shot dead by the SAS at Loughgall

He said: “Since her appointment by Gerry Adams, Michelle O’Neill has sought to speak only to a very narrow republican base. Over the last few months there has been no evidence of any desire from Sinn Fein’s new leader to demonstrate the respect she demands from others.

“There certainly is little respect demonstrated to the victims of IRA terrorism, choosing instead to describe a group of men who went out with the sole intention of murder and mayhem as ‘martyrs’.”

Mr Irwin added: “Right from her first statement as leader within a pre-packaged Sinn Fein video Michelle O’Neill chose to focus on members of the IRA, including those at Clonoe and Loughgall instead of issues which impact on all of the people of Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein’s refusal to restore devolution is again because they have placed their own narrow interests ahead of issues such as health, education and the well-being of all our citizens.

“Sunday’s event is another confirmation that Michelle O’Neill appears to place a much greater priority on reaffirming republican attempts to rewrite the past than on building a better future for all of society.”

The bullet riddled Hiace van in which eight IRA men were shot dead by the SAS outside Loughgall RUC station in 1988.

Sinn Fein is planning to mark their deaths with another two events in County Tyrone in May.

The eight IRA men shot dead by the SAS at Loughgall
The bullet riddled Hiace van in which eight IRA men were shot dead by the SAS outside Loughgall RUC station in 1988.