Robinson denounces Paisley remarks on bomb attacks
The people responsible for terrorist actions are terrorists, says First Minister
It’s a very dangerous road to go down, says DUP leader Peter Robinson. Photograph: Arthur Allison
DUP leader Peter Robinson has denounced remarks by his predecessor and former first minister Ian Paisley concerning the Dublin-Monaghan bombings.
UVF attacks, two of them in central Dublin and the third in Monaghan town in May 1974, killed 33 people.
Mr Paisley, interviewed for a forthcoming BBC Northern Ireland programme, said political leaders in Dublin had “brought that on themselves”, adding that “the attitude of the Southern government in Northern Ireland was ridiculous”. The comments have provoked widespread criticism.
“The people who are responsible for terrorist actions are terrorists,” said Mr Robinson. “Of course there are things going on at a government level, there always will be,” he said.
“Of course unionists will have had a very different opinion about the position of the Irish government than they themselves would have had. But that doesn’t make it responsible for it, no more than the British authorities are responsible for the acts of the IRA.”
He warned his predecessor: “It’s a very dangerous road to go down.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness concurred: “The responsibility for the bombs that took place in both Monaghan and Dublin resides with those people who were directly responsible for them.”
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Mr Paisley’s remarks were “entirely without foundation”.
“Various governments of that time, led by both my own party and other parties, had an absolute obligation to highlight and oppose the appalling abuses and discrimination against Northern nationalists.”
He also referred to Mr Paisley’s recognition, during the same BBC interview, that Northern Catholics suffered housing, employment and electoral discrimination.