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McCausland exploiting victims for his agenda

Published 02/08/2016

An extended relative was murdered by loyalists some decades ago; a random, soft target, as was the case for many of those who fell victim to the bad and easily misled.

When, a few months later, Sinn Fein used his name in an Easter commemoration speech, his father was furious. A decent, tolerant man, he did not want his son's name associated with a political campaign he was opposed to.

So, he took himself to the local Sinn Fein office to complain, but when he was met with a dismissive shrug, the red mist descended and, in a rage, he trashed the place. I loved that man.

I was reminded of this on reading Nelson McCausland's column (Comment, July 28). I have read all of Mr McCausland's weekly columns for about a year now and, with the exception of a few, I've been struck by its myopic criticisms of anything republican, nationalist, Catholic, Irish, GAA, etc.

Of course, I wouldn't deny Mr McCausland the freedom to express his point of view, although, as a senior unionist politician, I believe he is missing a wider gifted opportunity to use his column to positively promote the advantages of the Union.

But what compelled me to react was his response to the murder of a Catholic priest by Isis militants in France while celebrating Mass.

He cited a long list of victims murdered by republican terrorists, while attending prayer, over the period of the Troubles.

Given that Mr McCausland employs his column consistently as a "poke-in-the-eye" vehicle for of those he opposes, my view is that, rather than espousing compassion for the victims he cites on his list, he is exploiting them to further his own political cause, just like Sinn Fein all those years ago.

Isn't it about time our politicians resisted the urge to continually open the filing cabinet labelled "victims" and flick through the files to selectively extract those they can stand on to elevate their own so-called "crusades".

Regardless of what any of them think, we're not that stupid, you know.

BILL MCINTYRE

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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