Eastwood disappointed after Finucane addresses IRA commemoration

Alliance MLA Sorcha Eastwood has said she is disappointed after North Belfast MP John Finucane addressed an IRA commemoration in South Armagh.

Sorcha Eastwood Legacy Troubles

Mr Finucane was the main speaker at the event in Mullaghbawn, which was advertised as commemorating the ‘South Armagh volunteers’. Lagan Valley MLA Ms Eastwood had called on the Sinn Féin MP to rethink his addressing the event.

“It is disappointing John Finucane went ahead with addressing this event,” she said.

“Everyone in our society has a right to remember their dead in a respectful manner, no matter who they are and who they were a victim of. However, there is a difference between remembering and paying tribute to individuals, and commemorating terrorist organisations, including the IRA and its South Armagh ‘brigade’, particularly without reference to its many victims.

“Whether it is commemorations to terrorists or the display of flags and emblems of illegal terrorist organisations, we must strive for a society based on the rule of law and avoid one where the use of violence, whether in the past or present, is legitimised or normalised.

“There was always an alternative to terrorist violence here, which was demonstrated by the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland not engaging in it. That makes events that go beyond commemoration and instead glorify terrorism all the more galling, and even more hurtful for victims.”