SF accused of ‘eulogising’ teen IRA member’s death

Gregory Campbell
Gregory Campbell

Sinn Fein has been accused of “eulogising” the death of a teenage IRA member from Derry.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell spoke out as republicans prepared to hold commemoration events in the city for 16-year-old Michael Meenan who died when the bomb he was transporting exploded prematurely in 1974.

Separate events are due to take place at the republican memorial in the Shantallow area of the city on Thursday night.

Gregory Campbell branded the tribute as “atrocious”.

The East Derry MP told the House of Commons during Northern Ireland Questions on Wednesday that it would be more appropriate for republicans to acknowledge the “utter futility” of the teenager’s death.

“No one should be sending an adult out with a bomb, but when they send out a 16-year-old to plant a bomb, they stoop to a further low,” the DUP MP told the Commons.

Mr Campbell accused Sinn Fein of “trying to rewrite the history of events which involved one young person and were designed to murder and to destroy Londonderry’s economy.”

However, Sinn Fein’s Tony Hassan branded Mr. Campbell’s remarks as “tired and outdated”.

He added: “As with all commemorations, this will be a dignified and respectful event remembering the life of a young IRA volunteer who lost his life during the conflict. “This is someone who is still remembered in this area and who the local community is justifiably proud of and the commemoration will reflect that.”

Thursday’s commemorations take place at 6.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.