Belfast Telegraph

Little-Pengelly slams Sinn Fein claims over RUC link to Milltown attack

By Suzanne Breen

DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly has accused Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir of attempting to rewrite history by linking the RUC to Michael Stone's attack on Milltown Cemetery.

Three people were killed and four seriously injured in the loyalist's gun and bomb attack during the March 1988 funeral of the 'Gibraltar Three'.

Tweeting on Monday as he attended a memorial event for Thomas McErlean, one of those killed by Stone, Mr O Muilleoir said he had died "protecting mourners from the RUC-UDA attack".

In a letter in today's Belfast Telegraph, Ms Little-Pengelly said: "To link police to the Milltown attack is not only baseless, but a calculated insult to those who served and protected our community within the Royal Ulster Constabulary. They stood against loyalist and republican terrorists alike. Mairtin O'Muilleoir and Sinn Fein will not succeed in their attempts to rewrite history."

Ms Little-Pengelly claimed Sinn Fein was trying to blame the state for every murder during the Troubles.

"The republican definition of collusion is now so wide that it does not even require fact, evidence or logic to back up their attempts to rewrite history," she said.

"Mairtin O'Muilleoir's latest comments in relation to the Milltown cemetery attack is the latest example."

The Sinn Fein MLA has strongly defended his comments and claimed that collusion between police and loyalists was widespread at the time.

He told the BBC that the grenades used in the Milltown attack "were brought in from South Africa by Brian Nelson, a known RUC agent and one of the weapons used by Stone was also brought in from that consignment of arms".

He added: "I was there that day, there wasn't one person in the cemetery who didn't believe state collusion was behind the attack and 30 years on that remains my conviction."

IRA victims campaigner Willie Frazer said republicans were constantly trying to blacken the RUC's name and "discredit the forces of law and order".

"The IRA and terrorist groupings alike brought society to the brink of collapse; it was the brave men and women of the RUC and UDR who held the line," he said.

"They paid a heavy price for their steadfast belief that Northern Ireland should function as a law-abiding country, free from the wicked influence of organised terrorism.

"These men and women had targets on their back 24/7. They were never off duty, their vulnerability didn't deter their determination.

"We will not allow their memory to be tarnished," Mr Frazer added.

"If it hadn't been for the IRA murdering hundreds and injuring thousands, the Army or Special Branch services would have had no cause to enact counter-terrorism methods. If collusion was so widespread, then where are all the dead IRA men?"

Letters, Page 32

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