The ongoing situation in Gaza may not be of direct relevance to politics in Northern Ireland but the reaction of republicans shows that when it comes to hypocrisy they are in a league of their own.
Since the crisis hit the global headlines – which interestingly only happened only after Israel responded to Hamas aggression – Sinn Fein have issued numerous statements condemning the shelling of schools and hospitals and talking about Israel’s breeches of international law.
One would be forgiven for forgetting the IRA blew up a school bus in Fermanagh in 1988.
You wouldn’t imagine that Sinn Fein is the same party which continues to defend the IRA campaign which included the blowing up of Musgrave Hospital in 1991.
There wasn’t much concern for the two people murdered and eleven injured (including a five year old girl and a four month old baby) then.
Strangely no one can recall any statements about violations of international law when Jean McConville was abducted, murdered and secretly buried leaving ten children orphaned. Indeed Mitchell McLaughlin – a man who some unionists shamefully elevated to the position of Principal Deputy Speaker – has even claimed that the murder wasn’t a crime.
Two years ago the parents of nine-year-old Gordon Gallagher called for Martin McGuinness to reveal what he knew about the IRA bomb which killed their son in Londonderry in 1973. By his own admission McGuinness was second in command of the IRA in the city at the time. Predictably the only MLA who raised the issue in Stormont was Jim Allister.
When Sinn Fein makes statements professing concern for the civilians and children of Gaza their hypocrisy insults our intelligence.