Martina Anderson’s apology is a belated recognition of deep hurt and offence caused – Beattie

The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesperson, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has described Martina Anderson’s apology for the offence caused by Tuesday’s tweet about the long-awaited Victims’ Payment Scheme, as a belated recognition of the deep hurt and offence caused.

Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“Apologies are always to be welcomed, but given past experience, many people will be wondering about the sincerity of Martina Anderson’s apology for her tweet which so insulted and offended innocent victims.

“The fact that two Sinn Fein representatives – West Belfast MLA Pat Sheehan and South Down MP Chris Hazzard – appeared on radio programmes on Wednesday morning and both failed to condemn the tweet or ask for an apology, speaks volumes.

“Many victims will note that the apology only materialised when it became clear that the offence caused was so widespread and so indefensible, that even Sinn Fein would have to climb down and distance itself from the venom and bitterness that was laid bare for all to see, and commence an exercise in damage limitation.  

“There is another very important aspect to Martina Anderson’s tweet which must not be overlooked.

“A number of Sinn Fein representatives – including Martina Anderson – have made a concerted effort to spin the line that former soldiers will get this pension. This is utterly false, and even a cursory glance at the legislation will show this. Section 19 says that if someone has already received an injury award (including armed forces and police awards), that would be deducted from any amount paid.

“Martina Anderson also claimed that the Victims’ Payment Scheme gives legal protections to members of the armed forces. Again, this is wrong, as is her attempt to perpetuate the lie that others are being excluded from the scheme. The only individuals omitted from the scheme through legislation are those guilty of creating victims and who were injured while doing so, be they republican or loyalist terrorists.

“I trust that journalists, especially TV and radio interviewers, will bear this in mind the next time a Sinn Fein MP or MLA attempts to peddle these lies and bring the true facts to light.”

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