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IRA victim's sister Ann Travers slams 'disgusting' Sinn Fein tweet

By Rebecca Black

Published 05/05/2016

Anger: Ann Travers
Anger: Ann Travers
Raymond McCartney

A woman whose sister was killed by the IRA has slammed as "disgusting" a call by a member of Sinn Fein for people not to vote for the SDLP because it had not opposed a Bill preventing former terrorists from becoming special advisers (Spads) at Stormont.

Ann Travers' sister Mary was shot dead in 1984 as she walked home from Mass in south Belfast with her mother and father Thomas, a magistrate.

She originally spoke out after it emerged a woman who was convicted of transporting a gun used in the killing was working as a special adviser to Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin.

Mary McArdle was then moved to another job by Sinn Fein.

TUV leader Jim Allister worked with Ms Travers to author a Bill to prevent anyone with a serious conviction becoming a special adviser. In 2013 that Bill passed with support from every political party apart from Sinn Fein, while SDLP MLAs abstained.

Yesterday Sinn Fein election candidate Raymond McCartney referred to the Bill in a tweet, urging nationalists not to vote for the SDLP.

He tweeted: "Remember this the 14 SDLP MLAs allowed one TUV MLA to discriminate against political ex-prisoners. SPAD bill!"

Ms Travers said the tweet had made her feel sick.

"What a disgusting, pathetic little man," she said.

"The Spads who lost their jobs still have their lives and refuse to give information to give their victims closure. Mary Travers, my sister, lost her life, a single bullet in the back."

She added: "No thought for the discrimination against my father's right to work as a Resident Magistrate, my family's right to move freely without fear or threat, and my sister's ultimate right to life. I plead with the nationalist community, please vote for a party that has never endorsed violence.

"Remember the SDLP candidates who work hard for all and support victims of terrorism."

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