Totally ridiculous to have IRA-linked SF in government – DUP veteran

Sammy Brush
Sammy Brush

A DUP veteran who survived an IRA attack as he delivered post to a remote farmhouse has said that he is “disillusioned” with Stormont.

Sammy Brush, who last year retired as a DUP councillor in Dungannon, told the News Letter that it was “totally ridiculous” for those linked to the IRA to be in the Executive.

When asked if he was happy with the DUP decision to go back into government on the back of Tuesday’s report, Mr Brush said: “I am not happy with the setup as it stands at the moment, to be quite truthful with you, and honestly I can’t see what is...unless there’s a big change to the system; unless there’s something negotiated that sets up a more democratic system where people can be voted out of office.

“I honestly am disillusioned with Stormont as it exists at the moment. I think there has to be some change — otherwise, it’s from one crisis to another and talks after talks after talks.

“When the next thing comes up where there’s a disagreement, where do we go from there?”

Mr Brush, who three years ago received a standing ovation at the DUP conference, said that his disillusionment was based on both the logjams and inactivity at Stormont, as well as the revelations about the continued existence of an IRA which is linked to Sinn Fein.

“The system that’s there at the moment, where people who are linked to the IRA can be there at the highest office in government, is totally ridiculous. Unless there’s a change to the system, that will remain so.”

He said that “all the assurances we’ve got down the line [about the IRA] are shown to be not 100 per cent true”.

Mr Brush said he was not surprised at the paramilitary report but was disappointed that “17 years after the Good Friday Agreement, we were promised so much but so little was delivered”.

He added: “The system has really played into the terrorists’ hands and it’s not surprising that those organisations would still keep their hand in, as it were.”