SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly has called on public representatives to show greater sensitivity when talking about incidents from the North’s troubled past.
She was speaking after a Tweet from Alliance councillor Michael Long made a dismissive reference to Bloody Friday, where nine people were killed and over 100 injured in IRA bombings in Belfast in 1972.
Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said:
“I would urge public representatives and everyone in society to show greater care and sensitivity when discussing events from our troubled past. Behind events like Bloody Friday are devastated families who lost their loved ones and still carry those scars and pain with them to this day. Throughout my political career I’ve been privileged to meet many victims and relatives and it is clear to see they remain traumatised by their experiences and their thwarted attempts to achieve truth and justice.
“The Tweet from Michael Long was ill-judged and should be withdrawn. In his rush to attack political opponents he spared no thought for those who were impacted by the terrible events of this day. The SDLP has many problems with the DUP and their approach to legacy issues, but we all need to be above using past atrocities to score political points. It’s right and just that we remember the victims of Bloody Friday and everyone who lost their lives during the Troubles so that we make sure never to repeat the mistakes of the past or allow ourselves to be dragged back to those dark days.”