KILLINGS IN NORTH
Sir, - Following his meeting with Irish Government officials the Sinn Fein vice president, Pat Doherty, in connection with the recent wave of murders in Northern Ireland, stated: "I find the politics of condemnation hypocritical and useless."
The reality, of course, is that in the past when loyalist paramilitaries have committed murderous deeds, Sinn Fein has been more strident than almost any other party in condemnation of those deeds. On occasions, when it believed the RUC or the British Army to have gone beyond reasonable limits, Sinn Fein has certainly been engaged in the politics of condemnation in the strongest terms.
Mr Doherty's answers are totally disingenuous. Everybody knows that Sinn Fein is quite willing to condemn violence coming from loyalists or the security forces, but is totally unwilling to condemn violence emanating from republican sources!
It used to be that when one heard the word "peace", it was a matter of wondering if it had been Archbishop Eames or Cardinal Daly giving a sermon or making a speech. Over the last two years, when the media have reported a senior figure talking about "peace", the main question for most of us has been to wonder if the speech has been made by Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, or perhaps Mitchel McLaughlin! While it uses the word "peace" far more than any other party, it is ironic (if not at all surprising) that Sinn Fein does, not see the recent murders as, ink themselves, an attack upon peace.
A commitment to democracy, involves actions rather than platitudes and fine words. For many people, recent actions speak for themselves. - Yours, etc.,
Belfast BT9 6RH.