Wednesday, January 19, 2005


McLaughlin Rejects Resignation Calls

It seems my post on Monday evening about Mitchel McLaughlin's comments on RTE's Questions and Answers was somewhat of an exclusive and it was clear to me as I heard McLaughlin's astonishing claims that there would be political fallout from them.
McLaughlin had stated that the killing of Mrs McConville was not a crime and agreed with Mr McDowell that the IRA was "the only legitimate government of Ireland".

Today,I have learned on the BBC that McLaughlin is facing calls from Fianna Fail TD for Cavan-Monaghan,Brendan Smith,to retract his remarks while the McConville family has called on McLaughlin to apologise or resign.

"Of course I won't resign,I'm entitled to my view in this respect,"said McLaughlin.

"I didn't introduce the topic into discussion,

"I was pressing the minister for justice on the lack of action on outstanding issues such as collusion,criminality at the heart of the British Government as far as republicans are concerned and I think,on the ropes,the minister threw in Jean McConville."

Anyone who watched the programme will find McLaughlin's comments that McDowell was on the ropes to be laughable!

Mr.Smith,co-chair of the British-Irish Parliamentary Body described Mr McLaughlin's comments as "appalling" and said they had led people to query the Sinn Fein chairman's "commitment to the Good Friday Agreement."

"We have a mandate-as politicians on this island-to implement the Good Friday Agreement.

"Here we have comments from a senior figure in a political organisation and it is obvious that he is not committed to making an effort to implement the will of the Irish people,"Smith added.

I feel Mr Smith is absolutely right and McLaughlin's comments do pose serious questions on the commitment Sinn Fein have for the GFA and indeed the opinions of the citizens of the Irish Republic.I also agree that McLaughlin should retract his remarks which as Mr Smith quite rightly says were "appalling".
I find it very refreshing to hear members of Fianna Fail now speaking out against the disgraceful attitude Sinn Fein have towards both traditions on this island.
If only the leader of Fianna Fail would do the same...


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