Belfast Telegraph

DUP MLA calls for police to probe dissident's tweet glorifying IRA murder of RUC officers

By David Young

A DUP MLA has urged the PSNI to investigate a social media message from a dissident activist that appears to gloat over the IRA murder of three RUC officers in Newry in 1986.

Newry and Mourne MLA William Irwin says the tweet posted by republican Stephen Murney was "clearly intended to cause offence and glorify the actions of the IRA".

In the tweet posted yesterday, Mr Murney, a member of the Saoradh, wrote: "32 years ago today the IRA carried out an audacious & deadly attack on the hated Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in Newry, involving two active service units (ASUs).

"Two Vols flung open the doors of the heavily armoured car & killed the 2 armed members of the RUC/PSNI militia."

Condemning the online message, Mr Irwin said: "The tweet by Stephen Murney is clearly intended to cause offence and glorify the actions of the IRA especially as he uses the words 'hated RUC' and 'RUC/PSNI militia' in his outburst.

"This is clearly hate speech and should be investigated by the PSNI.

"Stephen Murney is seeking to besmirch the good name of Karl Blackbourne, Charles Allen and Peter Kilpatrick, who were amongst the finest RUC officers who wore the uniform and were coldly and callously murdered by the IRA as they sat in their vehicle in Newry during the darkest days of the troubles.

"The memory of those brave RUC officers will forever live on and stands in very stark contrast to the sickening, gloating behaviour of Stephen Murney."

Mr Irwin said he had already raised his concerns with the Chief Constable.

But last night the PSNI said that no complaint had yet been received.

Mr Murney strongly defended his tweet, saying he had copied it from a 2007 edition of An Phoblacht/Republican News, the Sinn Fein publication

"The article, and tweet, is merely an example of republicans remembering a successful operation in which brave IRA volunteers successfully engaged enemy forces, resulting in the killing of three RUC gunmen," he said.

"The republican community in Newry are immensely proud of the actions of the IRA in Newry and further afield during the freedom struggle."

He also hit out at the DUP, claiming the party engaged in "selective condemnation" of violence.

"They are bloodthirsty cheerleaders of violent British imperialism, who are complicit in the mass murder of civilians, based only on their Catholic religious affiliation, via Ulster Resistance and several other loyalist terror gangs," he added.

"Myself and Saoradh won't be lectured to by cowardly hypocrites."

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