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A survivor of the IRA’s Poppy Day massacre in Enniskillen in 1987 has hit out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, labeling the MP a “sympathiser for terrorism”.
Stephen Gault, whose father Samuel was one of 12 people murdered on Remembrance Sunday in the Co Fermanagh town, used the anniversary of the attack to condemn Mr Corbyn for signing a House of Commons motion after the bombing which claimed that the violence in Northern Ireland was caused “primarily from the long-standing British occupation”.
Diana Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, also signed the statement which- despite expressing horror over the bombing- called on Britain to relinquish control of Northern Ireland and pave the way for the reunification of Ireland.
Mr Gault, one of more than 60 people injured in the IRA bomb which detonated during a wreath-laying service at the Enniskillen War Memorial, told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Corbyn was: “A mouthpiece for terrorists.”
The survivor of the attack also pointed to the Labour leader’s close relationship with Sinn Fein, adding: “He never seems to condemn any terrorism at all, whether it’s Al Qaeda or Provisional IRA. He never has and never will. He is probably Sinn Fein’s greatest ally within Britain.”
No one has ever been convicted for the atrocity, with Mr Gault telling the newspaper he has resigned himself to the fact he will never get justice.
“Mr Corbyn openly supported Sinn Fein back in the early years, so for victims of the IRA he is not a person we would like to see as Prime Minister,” Mr Gault said.
Mr Gault, who was 18 when the bombing happened, was standing next to his father when the device expoloded.
He says he is still suffering mentally and physically 32 years on, having undergone several operations and needing medication for pain.
He recently turned 50, making him older than his father when the bomb killed him aged 49.
Referring to Mr Corbyn’s comments that IRA violence was a result of Britain’s “occupation” of Northern Ireland, Mr Gault said: “He couldn’t come out and condemn the actions of terrorism. He tried to blame the British occupation of Ireland. In his eyes, that was the reason behind it, which is totally disgusting.
“I would welcome an opportunity to actually sit down and get his rationale as to why he thought terrorism in Ireland was right.
“He needs to hear it from the actual victims’ mouths.
“If he ever became Prime Minister, I still would view him as a mouthpiece for terrorists. It wouldn’t change.
“He needs to come out and say why he supported terrorism. If there was another terrorist atrocity, God forbid, is he going to come out, regardless of which terrorist organisation, and condemn them- or is he going to support them?”
Mr Corbyn regularly met with Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams at the height of the Troubles.
In October 1984, two weeks after an IRA bomb killed five people at the Tory Party conference in Brighton, Mr Corbyn invited convicted IRA volunteers Linda Quigley and Gerry MacLochlainn to the House of Commons, causing uproar the time.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Jeremy has made it clear that he didn’t and doesn’t support the IRA and that what he always wants is to work for peace and respect for human rights.”
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for The original story