Sinn Féin hits back at critics after naming building after two IRA 'terrorists'
News

Sinn Féin hits back at critics after naming building after two IRA 'terrorists'

SINN Féin MP Chris Hazzard has defended the naming of his new constituency office after two IRA fighters.

The decision to name the building in Castlewellan, Co. Down the 'McNulty-Magorrian Advice Centre', along with its own plaque, has been criticised by IRA victims and described as "appalling" by DUP MLA Jim Wells.

The name is dedicated to dead IRA men Peter McNulty and Paul Magorrian, two IRA paramilitaries who were killed in the early 1970s.

Speaking to BBC Talkback, Mr Hazzard claimed Mr Wells' comments were "hypocritical", adding that it was "absolutely fitting" both the office and the local Sinn Féin branch were named after the men.

"They were killed in their area and their families are held in the highest regard," said Mr Hazzard.

"I would also point out that less than 50 metres from this office there is a British war memorial to remember all those that gave their lives in a British uniform, some of whom in that uniform killed Paul Magorrian who was killed beside my office by a British soldier.

Advertisement

"We have a place in Castlewellan where the British army are remembered and our Irish republican dead are remembered and I would call on people to enter this discussion with caution and with a little bit more of the facts."

Mr Hazard rejected Mr Wells' claim that constituents would stop visiting the constituency service because of the name.

"I have no doubt in the society we live in there would be people who would have trouble engaging with me simply because I am a Sinn Fein representative," he said.

"Likewise there will be people who find it difficult to deal with a DUP representative. That is the type of society we come from.

"The Good Friday Agreement states very, very clearly we are coming out of conflict and we all have right to remember our dead. we have to keep in principles of a shared society and moving forward."