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To compare killers of Joanne to men of 1916 sickening

Published 30/09/2015

Early in 1981 the Provisional IRA leadership in Derry met to consider the threat to Irish freedom posed by Joanne Mathers.

Joanne was 29 years old, a farmer's wife, the mother of a toddler, and a part-time census form collector. They decided she had to be stopped.

They could have simply intimidated her into quitting. But no - Joanne Mathers posed such a threat to the Provisional IRA that she had to be killed.

On April 7 this small, defenceless farmer's wife was shot dead in Derry by a masked man as she collected census forms.

At first it denied having had any involvement, as happened in so many cases like Jean McConville and Garda Jerry McCabe, but the IRA eventually admitted to carrying out the murder.

Last week Gerry Adams compared the Provos to the men of 1916 and said: "In terms of their unselfishness, in terms of their generosity and in terms of their commitment (to Irish freedom) - yes, I do (see both in the same light)."

To hear Adams compare the callous psychopaths who carried out the murder of Joanne with the likes of Connolly, Clarke and Pearse is enough to make one puke.

One can only imagine Connolly, Clarke and Pearse puking up also at being spoken about in the same breath as the craven and cowardly killers.

Worse, one can only imagine the hurt the Mathers family feels at this insult to the memory of Joanne ­­- but since when did Sinn Fein leaders ever consider the effects of what they said on the victims?

ANTHONY O'LEARY

Portmarnock, Co Dublin

Belfast Telegraph

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