Gerry Kelly's double standards over IRA slaughter
I listened to Gerry Kelly on The Nolan Show expressing his horror that a suspected under-car booby-trap bomb found in north Belfast may have been kicked by a child. "A child could have died," he smoothly intoned.
Challenged by Nolan on the double standards at play between the IRA and current terrorists, Mr Kelly told us that he was proud to serve in the IRA, with the usual selective caveat that he was not always proud of what the IRA did.
Presumably, one of those incidents was the murder of 10-year-old Lesley Gordon and her father in an under-car booby-trap bomb in Maghera in 1978 in which Lesley's eight-year-old brother was badly injured.
Responsibility for this child murder was placed at the door of the IRA unit led by later hunger striker Francis Hughes, who is revered in republican circles.
Gerry Kelly's well-rehearsed argument - that terrorism was justified in the past, but not now - by definition means that murdering innocent children then was fine but, for Sinn Fein, is somehow heinous today.
Sinn Fein knows 40 years of terrorism did not break the resolve of governments. We should remember their back channel message through the British security services to the Government: "The war is over, help us end it."
Their climbdown from violence to the ballot box has secured their place within a devolved Assembly firmly within the UK. If this is a republican "victory", what were the past 40 years of IRA slaughter about - other than bloodlust?
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