Belfast Telegraph

MP slams Derry memorial for teen killed by own bomb

DUP MP Gregory Campbell
DUP MP Gregory Campbell

By Garrett Hargan

Sinn Fein is to hold a commemoration event in Derry for a 16-year-old IRA member who died when he was blown up by his own bomb in 1974.

Michael Meenan's family plans to remember him at an event at the republican memorial in the Shantallow area of the city tonight.

But the tribute was branded as "atrocious" by East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell.

Mr Campbell told the House of Commons during Northern Ireland Questions that Sinn Fein would be better focusing on creating job opportunities for young people.

Speaking on youth unemployment, Mr Campbell said: "Michael Meenan was killed by his own bomb in October 1974 at a time when Martin McGuinness was an IRA leader in Londonderry.

"A 40th anniversary commemoration event of this nature is another reminder of the utter futility of the PIRA terrorist campaign and the manner in which people were sacrificed."

Mr Campbell added: "No one should be sending an adult out with a bomb, but when they send out a 16-year-old to plant a bomb they stoop to a further low.

"If Martin McGuinness was the IRA's second-in-command at this time in Londonderry, as he declared he was at the Saville Inquiry, what role did he have in this bomb attack?"

In a statement on behalf of the Meenan family, his brother Joe said: "We have always valued the support and solidarity we have been shown by the community in Shantallow and the wider republican family in Derry.

"We ask that same community to come out on Thursday to honour the life of Michael, who made the ultimate sacrifice for Irish freedom and sovereignty."

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: "We have a right to honour our patriot dead in a respectful and dignified manner."

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