The Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann MLA, has condemned the Sinn Fein Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens Council, for comments which he described an IRA terrorist and murderer as ‘brave.’
Robin Swann MLA said:
“The Sinn Fein Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens Council, Sean Bateson, has serious questions to answer following a tweet which he put out regarding the IRA terrorist Thomas McElwee.
“The precise wording was as follows - Remembering Óglach Thomas McElwee in Bellaghy on his 38th anniversary. “Oh gallant South Derry you are forever blessed. In the struggle for freedom you have given your best. There's Hughes and there's Bateson, Sheridan & Lee and inscribed with their names now brave Tom McElwee.”
“Thomas McElwee was an IRA terrorist and part of a gang that carried out gun and bomb attacks in South Londonderry in the mid 1970s.
“In October 1976 he planted bombs in Ballymena and one of those bombs murdered a young woman, Yvonne Dunlop. McElwee was caught, tried and imprisoned and whilst in jail he joined the1981 Hunger Strike.
“To see a Mayor praise the actions of such a man is yet another example of Sinn Fein mocking and disrespecting innocent victims. He has proved he cannot be a Mayor for all the citizens of Causeway Coast & Glens and should step down from the post before he causes any more offence.
“Tom McElwee was many things, but brave was not one of them. We must never forget that Thomas McElwee got to choose the timing and manner of his death, Yvonne Dunlop, like the rest of the IRA’s victims, was given no choice.”