Earlier this week Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein deputy leader, made comments regarding the ongoing row over the flying of paramilitary flags and also that of flags/banners erected in support of Soldier F.
“We must move beyond flags and banners being used to mark out territory and intimidate sections of the community.
There is an onus on all in society, regardless of political allegiance, to actively promote the politics of peace and reconciliation, not that of division and fear”
BUT now the DUP’s Alderman John Finlay has slammed what he described as ‘blatant hypocrisy’ from Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill over her comments.
Alderman Finlay said,
“Sinn Fein keep telling us we have to move on. In the latest example, Michelle O’Neill tweeted to say ‘we must move beyond flags and banners being used to mark out territory and intimidate sections of the community’.
“Fine words, but they are false words, for while Sinn Fein talk the talk, their actions betray another mindset. Michelle O’Neill is engaged in double-speak and blatant hypocrisy. For all her honeyed words, she and her Sinn Fein colleagues are stuck in their own dark sectarian past.
“While condemning loyalist flags and banners and calling for action to be taken against them, they continue to mark out their own territory by erecting illegal memorial monuments and flying illegal flags. They openly eulogise and honour dead IRA terrorists. and describe them, as Gerry Adams did recently, as decent people.
“One example in my own constituency is the memorial to IRA terrorists Declan Martin and Henry Hogan in Dunloy. They were killed in a gun battle with the SAS in February 1984. Loyal Order parades are banned in Dunloy, but republicans can march through the village to remember two terrorists.
“Michell O’Neill and Sinn Fein need to sort out the plank that is in their own eye before they focus on whatever mote they think might be in ours. When they put their own house in order, we might take them more seriously, but until then we will treat Michelle O’Neill’s comments with the contempt that they deserve.”
Last month Mr Finlay defended the banner in support of Soldier F, in the Glebeside estate signalling his ‘full support’ for its erection.
He also accused North Antrim Sinn Feinn MLA, Philip McGuigan of ‘hypocrisy’, over recent comments he had made.