Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein MLA calls Kingsmill massacre 'shameful' - UUP MLA says comments a 'positive moment'

By Claire Williamson

A senior Sinn Fein MLA has called the Kingsmill massacre "shameful" in comments that have been described as "positive".

John O'Dowd told BBC programme The View that he was "shamed" by the killings.

It comes after Sinn Fein MP Barry McElduff was suspended from the party for three months after he posted a video with a Kingsmill loaf on his head on the anniversary of the massacre of 10 Protestant workers.

Mr O'Dowd said: "Those who carried it out did not advance the cause of Irish unity in any way.

"I am not surprised the Kingsmills families are so annoyed and will not accept what Sinn Fein has said [that the video was not intended to offend them] because republicans have hurt them and harmed them."

Reacting UUP MLA Doug Beattie said they were "important words" and branded it a "positive moment".

He tweeted: "I have only just heard John O'Dowd's comments on Kingsmill from last night. They were strong words, important words and extremely welcome words. A positive moment.

"I accept them as his words not Sinn Fein's words. That needs to come as a statement from them with an acknowledgment the IRA was responsible."

Meanwhile the DUP's Edwin Poots said the party will need to do "some sort of business with Sinn Fein" in order to restore Stormont.

He said: "That involves, whether I like it, or whether I don't, or whether a lot of our supporters like it or don't, that will involve doing some sort of business with Sinn Féin.

"And whether Sinn Féin supporters like it or not, it will involve doing some sort of business with the DUP."

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