The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesperson, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has responded to comments in the Dail today by Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald in which she disparaged the RUC.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“The comments by Sinn Fein Leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dail today about the appointment of Drew Harris as head of the Garda should be noted by everyone who cares about the rule of law.
“Drew Harris’s father was an RUC Superintendent murdered by the IRA in a car bomb in 1989. Like more than half the fatalities of the Troubles he lost his life due to the terrorism of the IRA.
“Today Mary Lou McDonald said that Mr Harris must distance himself from the past culture of the RUC and asked the Taoiseach ‘what assurances will you give that the new Garda Commissioner will play the part demanded by that office in exposing collusion, uncovering the truth, and holding those responsible to account?’
“To listen to Ms McDonald you wouldn’t know that the IRA existed, murdered 1,800 people and injured tens of thousands more. If she wants to talk about a toxic culture and the need to uncover truth and hold people to account, she should start a little closer to home, by encouraging the IRA wing of the republican movement to tell what it knows about its 30 years of terror.
“Republicans hate the RUC because the RUC stood up to them and never flinched in the face of a cowardly terrorist onslaught. Whilst republican terrorists skulked around in the shadows in masks, the RUC wore uniforms and did their duty. The RUC played a major role in defeating the IRA’s campaign of violence and Sinn Fein’s hatred of the force tells you all you need to know about how effective it was in that role.”