Belfast Telegraph

Martina Anderson in spotlight over IRA past after being named one of top 20 EU politicians that matter

Martina Anderson
Martina Anderson

By Staff Reporter

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has been named as one of the top 20 European politicians who matter most - but for all the wrong reasons.

Every year, website Politico publishes its list of politicians who matter most.

However, this year's list is more irreverent.

According to Politico, Ms Anderson earned her place on the list because she has "never directly" said sorry for her actions while in the IRA.

Politico wrote: "Anderson is a convicted terrorist who served 13 years in prison for Irish Republican Army activities until she was released as a condition of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

"First arrested when she was 18 for causing an explosion in a furniture store in Derry, she was convicted in 1986 for conspiring to cause explosions in England.

"Her co-defendant Patrick Magee was convicted of carrying out the Brighton hotel bombing that killed five people and nearly claimed the life of then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"Anderson, who topped the vote in the 2014 European election in Northern Ireland, is seen by some as a symbol of reform and reconciliation, but she has never directly apologised for her role in the IRA's armed conflict against the British state."

Ms Anderson is one of three women who appear on the list.

The others are German MEP Petra Kammerevert and Eleonora Forenza, an Italian MEP, while all 19 members of Ukip appear collectively.

The website said of the Ukip group: "It's hard to know where to begin.

"The best thing to say about this motley crew of 19 is that their behaviour as MEPs truly reflects their view of the institution they belong to.

"Ukip's MEPs may be too good for the EU, but they're not too good to take its money. Each collects an annual gross salary of €101,808."

Irish MEP Brian Crowley has also been named on the list at the number 14 position.

The reason given for his inclusion was as follows: "Health issues have meant that Crowley, who is confined to a wheelchair after falling off a roof aged 16, has been virtually absent from Parliament since 2011.

"That didn't stop him from successfully seeking re-election in 2014, or from refusing to give up his seat despite growing concerns about his ability to do his job, including complaints from the person who would replace Crowley if he stepped down.

"Crowley has yet to cast a vote in the current parliamentary term."

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