DUP North Antrim MLA and Policing Board representative Mervyn Storey has echoed strong condemnation by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis at a tweet by Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly glorifying the escape of IRA terrorists from the Maze Prison in 1983.
Commenting, Mr Storey said:
“This tweet is the latest example of Sinn Fein’s stunning lack of self-awareness when it comes to dealing with the past. Gerry Kelly is very keen to demand equality and from others, including holding the police to unrealistic standards on legacy investigations, but thinks it is acceptable to tread on the emotions and trauma of the IRA’s victims. Once again, there seems to be one set of rules for Sinn Fein and another for everyone else. This cannot go unchallenged.
“The escape from the Maze was a bloody and calculated criminal operation. It resulted in twenty prisoners being attacked, including four who were stabbed and two shot. One officer, James Ferris, lost his life. This is nothing to be glorified or defended. Over the weekend, the Chief Constable Simon Byrne paused to mark the ultimate sacrifice made by local police officers as part of National Police Memorial Day. This dignified approach stands in stark contrast to the Sinn Fein attitude to these issues.
“There are serious question marks around whether the behaviour of Gerry Kelly, whether it be his involvement in breaches at the funeral of Bobby Storey or indeed these shameful social media posts, are in keeping with the ethos of the Code of Conduct for Policing Board members. It is high time Sinn Fein stepped up to the plate and set the tone for support for law and order not just in the communities they represent but across Northern Ireland.