I see that that there have been calls for the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood to be removed from his Stormont justice committee post after taking part in a republican funeral which saw a Real IRA gunman allegedly fire shots. That’s Mr Eastwood in pole position on the left hand side of the coffin.
The father of a victim of the Real IRA Omagh bomb and politicians voiced concern after the former mayor of Londonderry carried a coffin while flanked by men in full paramilitary uniform. The Foyle MLA has defended his actions at the funeral of former Official IRA and INLA man Seamus Coyle in the city on Tuesday. He carried his friend’s coffin, and later a masked member of the Real IRA fired up to a dozen shots from an automatic rifle. Alliance Justice spokesman Stewart Dickson MLA called on Mr Eastwood to be removed from his position on the Assembly’s Justice Committee. And Michael Gallagher, whose son was killed in the Omagh bomb, said the SDLP man should have considered the ramifications of attending the funeral of a former paramilitary. TUV leader Jim Allister and the DUP were also critical after the young politician was pictured carrying the flag-draped coffin. “In my view a paramilitary funeral is no place for anyone who espouses the principles of a liberal democracy,” Mr Allister said
Jim is right, of course, but carrying the coffin on terrorists has never hurt some people.
Here’s well known barman Gerry Adams (never IN the IRA, you know) carrying the coffin of IRA Bomber Thomas Begley, he who murdered ten people in one bombing in 1993.
Here’s Comrade McGuinness attending the burial of a fallen fellow IRA terrorist. (Of course he left the IRA shortly afterwards and definitely wasn’t in it as it went on to slaughter some 1800 people.)
Now then, Colum Eastwood is not in the IRA, the INLA or even I Can’t believe it’s not the IRA. He is a democratic politician from a party which abhors violence. So his startling lack of judgement in this regard brings dishonour on his Party, the SDLP, and shame on him. Why has he not been disciplined? Why does the SDLP sit back and watch all this with NO comment? Where is the sanction?