SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan has commented on the acceptance by Ian Paisley that life for Catholics was unacceptable under the old Stormont regime and that the demands of the Civil Rights movement were justified.
Mr O’Loan said: “There will be some surprise that Ian Paisley is prepared to concede that the demands of the Civil Rights movement were justified. What he fails to do is take the obvious next step and admit that his political stance was fundamentally wrong. At no time has he ever done so.
“Even in the latest BBC interview, he is deeply inconsistent, even blaming the people of Ireland for the Dublin and Monaghan bombings which were carried out by the UVF.
“The truth is that Ian Paisley resisted every movement towards reform. He did so in vitriolic, frequently anti-Catholic, language. I have no doubt that he stoked up hatred and built up fears.
“Ian Paisley carries much of the responsibility for the wasted years when no political progress could be made here. His great u-turn when he led his Party into a power sharing government in 2007 does not wipe out his responsibility for great wrongs carried out over the previous 40 years,” said Mr O’Loan.