Britain’s Queen Elizabeth should apologise for the death of Eddie Fullerton and thousands more like him before she is welcomed in Ireland - says Inishowen TD Padraig MacLochlainn.
The Sinn Fein Deputy lambasted the Queen’s visit which is set to take place in May saying it was ‘premature’ and the time won’t be right until the head of state accepts and apologises her country’s role in the conflict.
The Buncrana-based politician said while he acknowledges the people of Inishowen, Derry and Donegal have bigger fish to fry he believes, as an Irish Republican, that there are outstanding issues that need to be ironed out before she sets foot on Irish soil.
Speaking to the Journal yesterday, he said: “President Mary McAleese has invited the Queen to come to Ireland, I acknowledge that it is a sign of progress being made with the peace process and I am aware Sinn Fein has been at the heart of that.
“I suppose in a sense it’s an acknowledgement of the changing times of the two islands of Ireland and Britain.
“However, it is the view of Sinn Fein that the visit is premature and the reason why is because the Queen is the commander in chief of the British armed forces and there has not been an acknowledgement of the role the armed forces played in the conflict.
“I am certain that her armed forces were responsible for the murder of Eddie Fullerton and they coordinated that murder. “As a republican I accept our role in the conflict and we have also acknowledged the hurt and pain caused by the actions of the IRA and have apologised to the innocent victims.
“But I have never seen an acknowledgement by the Queen of England, acknowledging that they were part of the conflict.
“They were responsible either directly or indirectly for the deaths of thousands and thousands of people - that is why I think her visit is premature.”
When asked when the time would be right for the Queen’s visit, he said ‘when all the British armed forces are removed from the six counties’.
He said the IRA have ‘gone away’ and left the scene and put their arms behind them.
He added: “They have done all these things and what we see is there’s still a military presence on the island of Ireland.”
Deputy MacLochlainn said he personally has no problem with the Queen but wants the role of the armed forces in the conflict to be publicly acknowledged.