Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O’Neill was wrong to say there was no alternative to IRA violence during the Troubles, Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said.
Mrs Long said while those in positions of leadership are entitled to their own prospectives, they were “not entitled to their own truth”.
“Michelle O’Neill is wrong to say there was no alternative to the PIRA campaign of violence,” she said.
“Thousands of people, including a majority of nationalists, who did not pursue violence to achieve their political aims, are testament to that. Indeed, one could argue the use of violence delayed the reaching of political accommodation until 1998, and its devastating impacts are still felt personally and politically to this day.
“Throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s there were democratic and peaceful alternatives, as proven by Alliance and others at the time.
“Whilst those in positions of leadership are entitled to their own perspectives, they are not entitled to their own truth. Neither should they ignore the devastating legacy of violent conflict in our community or the impact their words of justification for past violence may have on people still engaged in such violence today.”