Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Fake guns glorifying terrorism: Jim Allister

Concerns have been raised over images of children holding imitation firearms as part of republican events to mark the Easter Rising in Dublin.

TUV leader Jim Allister hit out at the "glorification of terrorism" following a series of commemorative events across the region at the weekend to mark the 97th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The parades commemorate the 1916 uprising by republicans against the British, who were then in control of the whole of Ireland.

The uprising, based mainly in Dublin, lasted six days after which the rebel leaders were captured and executed.

In total, 450 died and 2,614 were injured as a result of the uprising.

In west Belfast, a procession of republican supporters, dressed in clothing and carrying arms from the era, made their way along the Falls Road on Sunday.

There was a similar event held in Londonderry.

The main parade in Belfast made its way through Milltown cemetery in west Belfast where speeches were held at the renovated Co Antrim memorial rather than at the republican plot.

Speaking during the event, Sinn Fein chairman Declan Kearney said: "We can stop history repeating itself by leading on the priority for an inclusive reconciliation process, in which all sections of our society listen and engage unconditionally with each another, and on the basis of equality and mutual respect."

While Mr Kearney and other Sinn Fein members spoke against the use of violence, Mr Allister said that the outfits and imitation firearms send the message that terrorism is acceptable.

"It is never appropriate to train up children in the ways of terrorism and I believe this effectively teaches them to glorify the IRA and the uniform of the IRA," Mr Allister said.

"That (Sinn Fein) still think it is right and proper to encourage children and use them as stooges in the glorification of terrorism is absolutely unacceptable."

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