Orange Order chaplain defends ‘memorial’ comment about Adams

PSNI chief constable rejects Sinn Fein claim of “dark side” to force

Rev Mervyn Gibson commented he would prefer a memorial rather than a mural to Gerry Adams. He subsequently said he wished no one dead.  Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill

Rev Mervyn Gibson commented he would prefer a memorial rather than a mural to Gerry Adams. He subsequently said he wished no one dead. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill

Wed, May 7, 2014, 01:00


The Orange Order’s grand chaplain has defended his comment that he would prefer a “memorial” rather than a “mural” to be created to Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

The Rev Mervyn Gibson, a Presbyterian minister who was on the DUP’s Haass talks team because of his Orange Order connections, made his comments during a loyalist rally last weekend.

Referring to a new mural of Mr Adams in west Belfast describing him as a “peacemaker, leader, visionary”, Mr Gibson said: “I see they’ve painted a new mural to him on the Falls Road. Sadly, it’s not a memorial mural.”

When contacted by The Irish Times yesterday, Mr Gibson said: “I was wishing no one dead, nor would I.”

Meanwhile, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev Michael Jackson has appealed to politicians of all sides”to work together with renewed fervour for the common good”. The archbishop, who was bishop of the cross-Border diocese of Clogher for almost 10 years before his appointment to Dublin in 2011, said Irish people North and South had experienced a “deep level of anxiety...over the past tense days”.

Separately, the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has rejected claims by Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness that there is a “dark side” embittered cabal in the PSNI operating to an anti-Sinn Féin and anti-Adams agenda.

He said “questioning the motivation or impartiality of police officers tasked with investigating serious crime in this very public, generalised and vague manner is both unfair and inappropriate”.

Legitimate
“The arrest and questioning of Mr Adams was legitimate and lawful, and an independent judge subsequently decided that there were grounds for further detention. Prosecutorial decisions will also be made independently by the PPS [Public Prosecution Service].

“In a democracy the police are tasked with following the evidence without fear or favour and in accordance with the law,” he said.