The Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has stated that Michelle O`Neill`s comments that “there was no alternative“ to IRA violence, are an attempt to justify the indefensible.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“Michelle O`Neill`s comments are an attempt to justify the indefensible. Cold blooded murder is always wrong. No-one needed to die to get to where we are today and there were always alternatives.
“The alternative to violence is dialogue and democracy. John Hume, Seamus Mallon and Joe Hendron understood that. That alternative path existed in the 1970s, but it wasn`t enough for the IRA Godfathers. Michelle O`Neill is entitled to her opinion, but she is not entitled to alternative facts.
“The IRA`s terror campaign was an attempt to bludgeon Northern Ireland`s law abiding majority into capitulation. It wasn`t a war. If it was, some of the leading figures in the republican movement should be in The Hague charged with war crimes. Thousands of people were murdered and tens of thousands were seriously injured because the men of violence sought to impose their will on others. We must also never forget that there are republicans today who excuse their violence with the same lame excuse that current circumstances justify violence.
“The fact that Michelle O’Neill made her comments only days after the 50thanniversaries of the IRA`s barbaric attacks in Claudy and Belfast on Bloody Friday, demonstrates a lack of compassion and thought for the families whose loved ones had their lives so cruelly cut short, or the injured who still bear the scars to this day.
“If we as a society are to move forward, the Sinn Fein leadership needs to acknowledge that murder is wrong and unjustifiable. Otherwise another generation will be indoctrinated with the poison from our troubled past.”