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Hazzard calls on Ritchie to distance herself from colleague’s outrageous comments

1 June, 2017 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard said today it was outrageous that the SDLP’s Sinead Bradley was attempting to completely misrepresent his position on Brexit and in the process insulting the families of the Loughinisland Massacre.

And he has called on Margaret Ritchie who has supported the Loughinisland families in the past to distance herself from her colleague’s crass opportunistic comments.

The Sinn Féin South Down Westminster candidate said:

“Sinead Bradley’s comments today are outrageous and they are completely at odds with my record on Brexit. 

“At the time of the vote on special status in the Assembly I was meeting British Secretary of State James Brokenshire. 

“I was meeting him in my role as Infrastructure Minister and raised a number of issues with him including the impact Brexit will have on the economy and infrastructure funding in the north.

“But as importantly, and I am on the record about this, I raised with James Brokenshire insulting remarks made by his predecessor Theresa Villiers that claims of state collusion with loyalist paramilitaries in the Loughinisland Massacre were ‘pernicious’ and a ‘deliberate distortion of the truth’.

“It beggars belief that I am being attacked for doing my job first as Infrastructure Minister but also as a South Down MLA. 

“It is also extremely disrespectful to the Loughinisland families whose loved ones were gunned down by a loyalist gang working in collusion with British state forces.

“I am calling on Margaret Ritchie to distance herself from her colleague’s crass, inaccurate and insulting comments given her past support for the Loughinisland families.

“And for the record Sinn Féin has been lobbying for the North to be afforded designated special status within the European Union and our TDs were able to secure a motion on Special Status for the North in the Dáil.”

Note to Editors: Here is link to statement from Chris Hazzard MLA issued on 17/10/16 Negotiation on the legacy of the past needed now - Hazzard

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