Byrne Challenged to Block Allisters Bill
Published: 31 May, 2013
The British soldier who murdered Aidan Mc Anespie on his way to a football match in 1988 would be eligible to be a Special Advisor, yet under the terms of this Bill, Political Ex prisoners would be excluded.
Local Councillor Anne Marie Fitzgerald has issued a direct challenge to SDLP MLA Joe Byrne to 'stand up and be counted' and sign a petition of concern to block Jim Allisters Special Advisers Bill.
Speaking this week, Councillor Fitzgerald said:
'With the position now adopted by the SDLP you have a bizarre situation whereby the British Soldier who murdered my cousin Aidan on his way to a football match in 1988 would be eligible to be a Special Advisor, yet Political Ex prisoners, who number in their hundreds in this constituency would be excluded.
'Furthermore, the British Soldiers who shot dead 14 innocent people in Derry on Bloody Sunday and who butchered Republicans at Loughgall, Drumnakilly, Strabane and in other parts of the country and who have never been prosecuted, would also not be affected by this bill.
'Joe Byrne is the SDLP MLA for West Tyrone, which has hundreds of Political Ex Prisoners and throughout the north there are over 25,000 nationalists who have spent long years in jail as a result of the conflict.
'Most of these people were convicted on the basis of forced confessions, falsified evidence and diplock courts and have served long years in Jail.
'I am therefore calling on Joe Byrne to stand up for these political ex prisoners and their families and sign the petition of concern. The 29 Sinn Féin signatories are lined up and only one additional signature is needed to block this bill. I am therefore calling on Joe Byrne to stand up and be counted and be the 30th signatory on the petition which will block this piece of repressive legislation'.