Statement by TUV Strangford candidate Stephen Cooper:
“The comments by Pat Sheehan this morning about torture will have been nauseating to people the length and breadth of Northern Ireland. A man who bombed a cash and carry and tries to justify the same on the basis of his “war” against the British is in no position to talk about torture.
“There are people throughout our Province who live day and daily with the physical and mental scars of IRA terrorism. Their suffering is only added to by the pontificating of someone of Sheehan’s ilk on the radio this morning.
“The IRA excelled in torture. Ask the family of Jean McConville and others disappeared by the IRA. Ask the families of those used as proxy or human bombs by the Provos. I think particularly of Patrick Gillespie who was forced to drive a bomb into an Army Base in Londonderry while his family were held at gunpoint. Gillespie and five soldiers were killed in the explosion.
“We are living in a very twisted society when someone who was a member of that same IRA is able to speak on the subject of torture. TUV stands foursquare against the Republican rewrite of history. Furthermore, unlike other parties we will not be lauding McGuinness, an IRA commander in the city Patrick Gillespie was murdered, for saving lives.”