Video: Justice for Eddie Fullerton more important than 'distractions', says senator

A Sinn Féin senator has said Fianna Fáil should be more concerned about delivering justice for the late Eddie Fullerton than attacking his party.

Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile was responding to criticism of Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald over her recent remarks over the recruitment of a new PSNI Chief Constable.

The late Eddie Fullerton.

The late Eddie Fullerton.

Fianna Fáil leader in the Seanad Catherine Ardagh said: “I express my disappointment about the comments made by Deputy McDonald concerning the PSNI.

“She said she would not have confidence in any current member of the PSNI senior leadership team taking the helm of the organisation. I am very disappointed and surprised by these remarks and they very much undermine the role of the PSNI.”

Senator Ó Donnghaile reacted: “I have a feeling - I do not say this disrespectfully - that she does not mean to cause any additional hurt or trauma for the families and that she was handed a script to recite. It is worth reflecting on that.

“Many words were missing from the address this morning. These included ‘victims’, ‘the Ormeau Road bookmaker’s’, ‘Councillor Eddie Fullerton’, ‘the UDA’, ‘the UVF’, ‘Special Branch’, ‘murder’, ‘Police Ombudsman’, ‘accountability’, ‘truth’ and ‘justice’.

“What we are talking about here relates to some 30 killings by British security services or, indeed, their proxies, loyalist paramilitaries. Everything else is just a distraction.”

He was referring to the Police Ombudsman, Dr. Michael Maguire’s recent revelation that previously undisclosed material, some related to covert policing, had become newly available and had sparked new lines of inquiry into the investigation of the activities of Loyalist paramilitaries in the North West between 1988 and 1994.

Colr. Fullerton, was aged 56, when he was shot dead in his Cockhill home by members of the UFF on May 25, 1991.

He was one of five Sinn Féin councillors or activists assassinated by loyalists in the North West over the period specified by Dr. Maguire.

Fellow victims included John Davey, aged 61, who was murdered by the UVF near Maghera on Febuary 14, 1989; Thomas Donaghy, aged 38, when he was killed by the UFF in Kilrea on August 16, 1991; Bernard O’Hagan, aged 37, when he was shot dead by the UFF in Magherafelt in September 1991; and Danny Cassidy, who was aged 40, when he was assassinated by the UFF on April 2, 1992.