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Correct to call out SF over IRA terrorism

The Stormont party leaders' debate on Monday evening discussed the response to Islamist terrorism in the wake of the Manchester and London atrocities.

It was no surprise to hear Sinn Fein stick to their line that acts of vile terrorism carried out in the name of Ireland by the IRA have no equivalence with the same vile acts of terrorism by Islamist fanatics.

It is understandable that Sinn Fein should continue to cling to the wreckage of that argument, because to do otherwise would reduce the IRA from freedom fighters to human rights abusers on a grand scale.

What is more difficult to understand is Naomi Long's assertion that it was tasteless of politicians in Northern Ireland to immediately bring the debate about the attacks in Manchester and London back to their arguments over the Troubles.

Far from being a piece of political mudslinging, as Naomi Long believes, people are right to call out Sinn Fein's hypocrisy on IRA slaughter.

To do so is not to demean the butchery of Manchester, or London, but to remind people that these acts are no more, or no less, than the vile crimes of La Mon, Enniskillen, Kingsmill, Teebane, Darkley and many, many more.

In denouncing Manchester and London as acts of wanton terror, we also need to bear in mind our own past and let no one pretend the actions of the IRA were in any way different, or excusable.


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