Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“I note that over the weekend co-First Minister McGuinness lauded IRA Hunger Striker Thomas McElwee, attending a commemoration in his honour in Bellaghy on Sunday and describing him as a “hero” on social media.
“While Republicans seek to build a mythology around the Hunger Strikers they don’t look very glamorous when considered in the cold light of day. McElwee was serving 20 years for a Ballymena firebomb which resulted in 26-year-old Yvonne Dunlop being burnt alive in her clothes shop. Some hero!
“Some might recall that in August 1981 the people Ballymena raised £800 to send Mrs Dunlop’s three children to London to meet Ken Livingstone who was then leader of an Greater London Council so that he could see first hand what McElwee, who he had described as “not a criminal but a freedom fighter”, was responsible for.
“Sadly now we live in a Northern Ireland where Unionists partner those who regard McElwee and his ilk as “freedom fighters” and “heroes” in government!”