Belfast Telegraph

Diane Dodds writes to EU Parliament president over Martina Anderson Maze escape tweet

Martina Anderson wearing a Republic of Ireland jersey in the European Parliament. Credit: Martina Anderson
Martina Anderson wearing a Republic of Ireland jersey in the European Parliament. Credit: Martina Anderson
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

A DUP MEP has written to the President of the European Parliament about a social media post by Martina Anderson celebrating the Maze Prison escape.

Diane Dodds, speaking on BBC's Talkback on Radio Ulster, said she has written to the EU Parliament President David Sassoli asking him to adjudicate the Sinn Fein MEP's comments.

"I looked at my Twitter account last night and I see that Martina Anderson has actually glorified the Maze escape where a prison officer died from a heart attack after being stabbed by a chisel," she said.

"This kind of glorification of violence is wrong, it is inappropriate, we should leave it in the past.

"This morning I have taken the time to write to the president of European Parliament, to ask him to adjudicate on whether this type of language, this type of glorification of terror, is actually appropriate for a member of the EU Parliament. We need all to be very careful about our language."

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On Wednesday, North Belfast MLA Mr Kelly tweeted about the situation facing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom political commentators have said is being “imprisoned” by an anti-Brexit Parliament.

Mr Kelly tweeted: “36 years ago today I was in H Block 7, getting ready to escape from the ‘most secure prison in Europe’ with 37 other political prisoners. We succeeded. Boris, I’m prepared to give you some advice.”

In response to the tweet, Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson wrote that she remembers "that day with pride" and shared an image with the text "so proud of you".

Mrs Anderson, also speaking on Radio Ulster's Talkback, said the Maze prison escape, in which James Ferris died from a heart attack after being stabbed, was a "remarkable day" for republicans.

"Diane does not ask for any apology for the 50 years of unionist misrule, does not ask for any acknowledgement of what happened to our people, how people were treated during those awful times and the causes of the conflict.," the Sinn Fein MEP said.

"The way to deal with all of this is to implement the Stormont House Agreement and set up the legacy institutions that were agreed by all the political parties. The British government and the Irish government had been involved in making sure that that would happen.

"The British government has blocked it, the DUP is supporting them blocking legacy institutions from being established."

"We should respect the fact that we all had different experiences and we should try to build a better future based on the differences we have, and respecting those differences."

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