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McDonnell position a slap in the face for victims of State violence

2 June, 2013 - by Alex Maskey


Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has said comments today by SDLP leader Alastair McDonnell endorsing a hierarchy of victims, ‘was a slap in the face to the families of those killed through British State violence’. He said that the SDLP was retrospectively justifying the murder of people like Alan Lundy shot in Mr Maskeys home.

Mr Maskey said:

“In the past week we have witnessed Alastair McDonnell move the SDLP lock, stock and barrel into the anti-Agreement rejectionist camp led by Jim Allister.

“The SDLP now unashamedly stand for discrimination against former political prisoners and have abandoned entirely the inclusivity principles which underpin the Good Friday Agreement and the political process.

“Now today in the media the SDLP leader has adopted the unionist position on victims. He stated that there should be a hierarchy of victims in place. This is a language victims’ families have heard for years from the British State and from unionist politicians. In reality it means victims of the British State either directly or through their pseudo gangs should be treated as second class. This is a very deliberate slap in the face to the families of those killed through British State violence.

"Alan Lundy was shot dead in my home. This SDLP position is retrospectively justifying his murder. If Alan had survived the attack the SPAD Bill would bar him from a job. In McDonnell's world Alan Lundy is not a victim.

"This is a shameful position for the SDLP leader to adopt. As we predicted last week the SPADs bill position was the thin end of the wedge. Other SDLP MLAs now need to make their position clear. Particularly those who have in the past stood with victims of British State violence and claimed to support them in their campaign for the truth. The first big test will come tomorrow in the Assembly. They have the choice to stay silent and endorse discrimination and second class citizenship, or they can join with us in defeating this anti-Agreement TUV agenda and stand for the political process and for the Good Friday Agreement.”

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