Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

The Queen and Martin McGuinness - the idea that victims would be expected to welcome ex-IRA commander at banquet sickens me

The Queen (left) and Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness during the State visit of the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England
The Queen (left) and Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness during the State visit of the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England

I had intended to blog about the European elections this week but I feel compelled to write about something else.

I'm sick, sore and tired of listening to the great and the good tell us all how grateful we should be for Martin McGuinness condescending  to attend a state banquet as a guest of Her Majesty the Queen.

Her Majesty the Queen should not have met with McGuinness.

This week, West Midlands Police told the families of 21 people murdered when the IRA bombed two pubs in Birmingham that there will be no new inquiry into the terrorist attacks in 1974.

In 1973 Martin McGuinness had told a Dublin court, " I am a member of Oglaigh na Eireann [the IRA] and very, very proud of it."

The families of those murdered by McGuinness's wicked IRA in Birmingham have never been invited to a banquet in Windsor Castle. On Tuesday some of them were standing outside the gates to protest.

I'm proud to be able to call one of those, Julie Hambleton, a friend. Her sister,  Maxine, was murdered in the bombings.

What was Maxine's crime in the eyes of the IRA? It was being a citizen of Her Majesty's United Kingdom.

The idea that 40 years later victims would be expected to welcome McGuinness attending this banquet sickens me.

The money squandered on this piece of the never ending peace process choreography would have been much better invested in attempting to bring the Birmingham bombers to justice.

It's an indictment of our nation that while McGuinness will get the red carpet treatment the victims will, quite literally, be left out in the cold.

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