Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein's McDonald would go to Twelfth celebrations 'if invited'

Mrs McDonald also appeared to say she was 'sorry' for IRA murders of around 300 Orangemen.

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald

The president of Sinn Fein Mary Lou McDonald has appeared to say sorry for the IRA's murder of around 300 Orangemen during the Troubles and said she would attend the Twelfth of July if she was invited.

In an interview with the News Letter, the new Sinn Fein leader said she was sorry for the "hurt" suffered by members of the Orange Order during the Troubles and said she would go to the Twelfth of July.

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She said: "If I'm invited, yes. I haven't been invited...I will meet everybody, if I could meet every single person, I would meet every single person individually. I have no hang-ups, I want to meet with everybody.

"I had previously said- and I might as well say it through your own good offices- I would very much like to meet the Orange Order. I think it's important."

When put to her the Orange Order has said it will not meet Sinn Fein until it apologises for IRA murders of Orangemen she said: "I think that is so unfortunate."

Asked if she would apologise for IRA murders, she said: "No, look- I have no hang-ups about saying that I am sorry. I am heartily sorry for everybody that got hurt. I am heartily sorry to those who were hurt by the IRA. Of course. Of course."

She added: "Well, that includes the Orange Order. Of course it includes the Orange Order."

Asked by the Newsletter if she would specifically say sorry to the Orange Order and to admit scores of its members had been murdered by the IRA, Mrs McDonald said: "Of course, I am sorry that members of the Orange Order were hurt. Yes. And I'm sorry that anybody was hurt.

She added: “You can play games on these issues. I’ve no interest in that ... that’s not getting us anywhere. I’m sorry that anybody got hurt; I’m sorry the whole bloody... that any of that happened, from start to finish.

COLERAINE Ellie, Jamie, and Katie, playong at the Coleraine twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Ellie, Jamie, and Katie, playong at the Coleraine twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE For yours eyes only at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE On the march through the streets of Coleraine.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Entertaining the crowd at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Pipers at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Piping his way through Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Orangemen proudly march throigh the streets of Coleraine.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Taking the salute at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Some of the crowd enjoy the Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Drumming in orange at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Anna, Joel, and Ella Cassells, Denise and John Bellingham, Alan Gouldm and Deborah McAuley.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE LOL 259 members on the march at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Ladies from LOL 175 on the march in Coleraine.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE A day off for MLA Claire Sugdon at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Playing the simbols at Coleraine Twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Edenmore Flute Band on the march in Coleraine.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Laqdies from LOL 175 on the march in Coleraine.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE Draped in a Union Jack is Lauren Mc Kane from Ballymoney.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
COLERAINE A young girl show her skills as she leads her band in Coleraine twelfth.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

 “But I don’t think either that it’s a reasonable position for the Orange Order to say ‘well I’m not going to meet with that person because of everything that happened in the past’ because everybody could adopt that position, and then where are we?”

The Belfast Telegraph has approached the Orange Order for comment.

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