AS a Banbridge District ratepayer, I was disgusted to read in the local press, that Banbridge Alliance Councillor, Sheila McQuaid has defended her stance in supporting Sinn Fein Councillor Brendan Curran’s entitlement to describe the murderous campaign of the PIRA as ‘necessary’.
Mrs McQuaid stated that Cllr Curran was ‘entitled to his opinion about the troubles’. When she says ‘troubles’, of course what she is referring to is the 40 years of murder, mayhem and bloodshed, where our graveyards were filled with our loved ones, family and friends, men, women and children. Even the very horses in London did not escape the carnage. There never can be and there never was any justification for the murderous campaign of the PIRA, dissident Republicans, or any murder carried out under the so-called ‘Loyalist’ banner.
As for Cllr McQuaid losing her temper, well I am sure the Council officers and her fellow Councillors did not know whether to laugh or cry! Councillor McQuaid should have instead directed her ‘anger’ towards those who belong to a political party, in Sinn Fein, who have attempted to justify the PIRAs role and the murders that were carried out by that organisation.
Cllr McQuaid also referred to the Unionist Councillors in the DUP and UUP as a Unionist ‘gather up’. This was grossly insulting to the many thousands of people who voted for both these parties. I have nothing but respect for our Unionist Councillors on Banbridge District Council. They are law-abiding citizens, members of society and subjects of Her Majesty the Queen. They do not deserve to be described in such an insulting manner.
In conclusion, I would support the calls for Cllr Curran to withdraw his offensive comments and apologise. I would also call upon Cllr McQuaid and the 2 SDLP Cllrs to apologise for failing to stand shoulder to shoulder with the innocent victims and for failing to condemn Cllr Curran’s offensive and insensitive comments. I, like Cllr McElroy, agree that we as a society should move forward. I support our power-sharing, devolved government. But as Cllr McElroy and others have stated, we cannot permit Sinn Fein and others to re-write the past, justifying murder, and adding insult to injury for the many innocent victims, both Protestant and Catholic. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones. One day we shall all stand before the Judge of heaven and earth and all those who have not repented of their sin and sought the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be judged and have to give an account for their actions.