"THE truth is" and "We must deal with the past" were phrases frequently used at Sinn Fein's recent ard fheis. However republican leaders continue to deny the IRA targeted civilians, or engaged in sectarian murder.
In September 1971, the IRA planted a bomb at the Four Step Inn on the Shankill Road, killing two Linfield supporters.
In November 1971, at the Red Lion pub on the Ormeau Road, an IRA bomb killed three Protestants.
Similar sectarian attacks continued for 24 years, culminating with the 1993 Shankill fish shop bomb.
Violence begets violence. Those planning the IRA bombs would have factored in loyalist retaliation against innocent Catholics – and many were murdered.
Of course, we must deal with the past and the truth may set us free. However, for election purposes, it seems the present SF/DUP axis remains content to manage sectarianism, rather than cure it.