Tuesday 21 November 2017

O'Neill defends commemoration of eight IRA dead

Party leader Michelle O'Neill takes part in a Sinn Féin commemorative parade to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of IRA activists in Loughgall, in the village of Cappagh, Northern Ireland. Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Party leader Michelle O'Neill takes part in a Sinn Féin commemorative parade to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of IRA activists in Loughgall, in the village of Cappagh, Northern Ireland. Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sinn Féin's leader in the North has defended her participation in an event to commemorate the deaths of eight IRA men killed in Loughgall, Co Armagh, in 1987.

Michelle O'Neill insisted there was no contradiction in commemorating the IRA dead while also reaching out to unionists.

Ms O'Neill took part in the republican parade yesterday to mark 30 years since the ambush by elite troops of the IRA men.

Eight IRA men were shot dead when they smashed a stolen digger containing a 200lb bomb through the gates of Loughgall police station in Co Armagh in May 1987.

Ms O'Neill told the crowd she had been criticised by unionists and the media for commemorating IRA Volunteers.

But she said: "Make no mistake about it: I will always remember and commemorate our patriot dead and each of our fallen comrades who gave their lives for Irish freedom."

The leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster, said she was disappointed by Ms O'Neill's decision to attend the event.

Irish Independent

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