Sunday 19 November 2017

Susan McKay: All sides showing disrespect for victims of a very recent conflict

Sinn Fein is well able, when required, to make decorous speeches about dealing with the legacy of our recent murderous past. Party president Gerry Adams has called for the establishment of an Independent Truth Commission and has said republicans are "very conscious of the hurt and suffering caused through conflict in our country". He said that the commission would have to be conducted in a "sensitive and generous way" and that all victims would have to be regarded as equal.

However, party TD Dessie Ellis was obviously in no mood for such sensitivity when asked by the Irish Independent yesterday to comment on allegations that he had been involved in some 50 murders during that conflict. "I don't want to comment on anything said by the Brits," he said. "I wouldn't be bothered."

Wouldn't be bothered? Is this the sort of language Mr Ellis would use when called to give evidence to the truth commissioners? Is this language which shows respect to those whose hurt and suffering were caused by the IRA and specifically by IRA bombs, which he may have made?

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