Omagh Ulster Unionist Councillor Chris Smyth has called on Jude Collins to stop wallowing in self-pity and reflect on how his own comments heaped more hurt on innocent victims of terrorism and their families. This follows Mr Collins` claims in the Belfast Telegraph that he has been dropped as a regular panellist on the BBC.
Councillor Chris Smyth said:
“I alongside relatives of victims of the Omagh bomb wrote to the BBC expressing our disgust that a commentator would refer to the Omagh bomb as not murder. I also penned a letter to local newspapers explaining why the comment was so offensive to the people of Omagh, especially considering Jude Collins is originally from Omagh himself.
“He also made equally callous comments about the murder of Patsy Gillespie and has in the past compared the Boys’ Brigade to children taking part in dissident republican marches. The way in which he heaped hurt and pain on to victims of terrorism make it understandable why his commentary is toxic to most organisations.
“I've already spoken to some victims’ campaigners and have seen others respond online and they are very glad that the BBC have appeared to rein back their employment of Jude Collins.
“Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Mr Collins should reflect on his own actions, the hurt and pain he has caused and examine why this state of affairs has arisen. Hopefully in his contemplation he will come to understand that this is a totally self-inflicted blow and it will give those people so hurt by his comments hope that deliberate and callous acts that cause so much hurt will not go unchallenged.”