DUP MP Gregory Campbell has said there is no difference between the terrorism of dissident republicans and the terrorism of the Provisional IRA. The DUP MP was speaking after Sinn Fein attacked unionists during an event marking the 1994 PIRA cessation. Mr Campbell said Sinn Fein should support the full implementation of National Crime Agency as the United Nations has requested, doing this would be a tangible gesture instead of mere words in opposition to the dissident terrorists and law breakers.
Commenting Mr Campbell said: “Whilst Martin McGuinness took time to lecture unionists, the press release of his speech had not a single word about the innocent victims of his organisation up to the ceasefire. He made no mention about the innocent census worker, Miss Joanne Mathers who was murdered by the PIRA in Londonderry in 1981 as well as hundreds of others McGuinness is right to urge dissidents to move away from terrorism. Their actions are wholly wrong and immoral in the same way the PIRA was wholly wrong and immoral. There is no difference between the terrorism of today and the terrorism of 1994.
“The PIRA campaign led to hundreds being killed and thousands being injured but republicans did not in any way weaken Northern Ireland’s position within the Union. Rather, Northern Ireland stands today with more people in support of the Union than when the IRA machine was doing it’s worst. Talking is better than shooting, but talking is more likely to achieve success when it is based on reality. Martin McGuinness needs to give a reality check to republicans rather than homilies.
“Rather than Martin McGuinness lecturing unionists, he should step out of the shadow of dissidents and support the full implementation of the National Crime Agency in Northern Ireland. So far Sinn Fein has blocked the legislative consent motion which is needed to allow this body which fights evils such as human trafficking and child abuse, to fully operate in Ulster. Even a leading UN committee has said Northern Ireland’s security against these scourges is weakened by not having the NCA.
“Sinn Fein points the finger of blame at other parties regarding a lack of progress on some issues yet Martin McGuinness fails to address the impact his party’s dogma is having on our economy. As Peter Robinson pointed out some weeks ago, “each party faces a decision as to whether the benefits of devolution outweigh the financial penalty that the Sinn Fein cuts impose upon our community as frontline services are challenged.”