DUP criticise Causeway Council book of condolence for Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness pictured at home at the start of February 2017.
Martin McGuinness pictured at home at the start of February 2017.

Despite prominent DUP figures having signed books of condolence for Martin McGuinness, members have hit out at Causeway Council for allowing people to pay tribute to the former IRA leader.

The DUP group on Causeway Council led by Alderman John Finlay has criticised the mayor’s decision to open books of condolence for the former deputy first minister at council offices in the borough.

At Stormont DUP leader Arlene Foster signed a book of condolence, while Brian Kingston was the first to do so as mayor of Belfast City Council.

Alderman Finlay said: “All families are entitled to grieve in peace when they lose a loved one, and should be given space to do so.

“However, Mr McGuinness inflicted misery and pain on many in Northern Ireland. People across all communities suffered as a result of a protracted terrorist campaign in which he unashamedly participated and directed.

“Unlike his organisation’s victims, Mr McGuinness had the time to reflect on his earthly life before meeting his Maker, and could so easily have helped the victims of IRA violence by publicly accepting it is wrong to use terror to advance any political ideology. In reality, Mr McGuinness continued to eulogise terrorists and terrorism to the end of his political career.

“Whilst he may ultimately have accepted terrorism could not unite Ireland, it wasn’t before he had broken hearts and divided mindsets to the extent that it will take generations to heal our society. What a pity he didn’t accept the primacy of politics in 1970 when he embarked on the terrorist career.”