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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020

"The people responsible for terrorism are terrorists," - Northern leaders on Paisley comments

The former DUP leader suggested the Irish government was in some way responsible for the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, but the leaders of the Belfast assembly today both rejected that idea.

The aftermath of the Talbot Street bombing that killed 25 people in May 1974.
The aftermath of the Talbot Street bombing that killed 25 people in May 1974.
Image: Peter Winterbach/AP/Press Association Images

BOTH THE FIRST Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland today rejected comments from Dr Ian Paisley that suggested that the Irish Government’s attitude led to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Paisley is reported to have said that the bombings, which killed 33 people 40 years ago were down to the Irish government’s “ridiculous attitude to Northern Ireland”.

However, speaking at a Google event in Dublin today, the North’s First Minister Peter Robinson rejected that idea.

“We’re talking about the murder of 33 innocent people.

“I have a settled and clear view about terrorism: the people responsible for terrorism are terrorists.

Of course there are things going on at government level, there always will be. And of course unionists will have a different opinion of the actions of the Irish government. But that doesn’t make them responsible, in the same way the British government is not responsible for the actions of the IRA.

“The responsibility lies with the people who put their hands to priming the bomb, placed the bomb and killed 33 innocent people.”

At the same event, the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said that it was important to note that Paisley is retired.

“There are different narratives about the past. That is what the Haass talks are about. While some will be taken aback by what Dr Paisley has said, I think there will be those pleasantly surprised that he has acknowledged that Bloody Sunday should not have happened.”

He added that the peace process should not be derailed by “those whose plan it is to drag us back to the past”.

McGuinness said that he was “looking forward” to watching the documentary on Paisley, which airs on BBC next Monday.

Read: Ian Paisley says he was angered by Bloody Sunday

Read: Britain ‘does not intend’ to hand over Dublin-Monaghan files

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