Northern Ireland

Gregory Campbell angry over Martin McGuinness headstone

McGuinness headstone
Image caption The gravestone was unveiled on Sunday

The unveiling of a gravestone for Martin McGuinness, which refers to him as an IRA volunteer, "tells the true story", a DUP MP has said.

Mr McGuinness died last month at the age of 66.

His headstone was unveiled as part of an Easter Rising commemoration in Derry's City Cemetery on Sunday.

Gregory Campbell said the inscription "ought to serve as a reality check" for those "caught up in the hyperbole" at the time of Mr McGuinness' death.

"The news that there has been the unveiling of a headstone at the grave of Martin McGuinness with two references to his IRA membership will come as no surprise to most people," he said.

"The inscription of 'volunteer' along with the use of the Irish term for the 'IRA' are there as lasting testimonies to terror, long after the eulogies have faded, those who got carried away with some of the media's attempted elevation to statesmanship can now see for generations to come what those closest to him want everyone else to remember him as.

"A volunteer in Irish republican parlance didn't work in a charity shop, they terrorised people, they strapped an innocent man to his car and turned him into a human bomb, they shot a young innocent woman collecting census forms, that's what a 'volunteer' in the IRA did.

"The only good that can come from this engraving is that now those who are prepared to look for the unvarnished truth, can do so, on a headstone that will be there for generations to come."

Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie said he was neither angry nor outraged by the inscription on the gravestone.

He said it cemented what was already known, that Mr McGuinness was an IRA volunteer and that the gravestone would be no different to those of any other IRA member.

"He was a physical enemy of mine when he was in the IRA as I was a British soldier and he was a political opponent because I am unionist and he was a republican," Mr Beattie said.

"But in death he was neither of these, he was a frail old man."

Related Topics

More on this story