WEST Tyrone MP Órfhlaith Begley has added her voice to the outcry over the Secretary of State’s comments that killings by security forces during the Troubles were “not crimes”.
In response to a question proposed in the House of Commons on Wednesday concerning legacy issues, Karen Bradley claimed the military and police were just “fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way”.
“Over 90 per-cent of the killings during the Troubles were at the hands of terrorists. Every single one of those was a crime,” said Ms Bradley.
She added “The fewer than ten per-cent that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes.”
Although Karen Bradley later said her comments “might have been open to misinterpretation”, there have been calls for her to resign.
Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O’Neill said her comments were “offensive and hurtful”.
The party’s West Tyrone MP, Órfhlaith Begley, described Karen Bradley’s comments as “reprehensible”.
“Karen Bradley’s description of killings carried out by British security forces in the North as dignified and appropriate is despicable,” said the local MP.
“The British Secretary of State’s comments show just how much contempt the British government had for those who were killed by British security forces here.
“It is reprehensible and a direct insult to the many families who lost loved ones at the hands of the British security forces for Karen Bradley to describe those killings as not being a crime.”
Ms Bradley’s controversial comments come at a very sensitive time as an announcement is expected to be made soon about whether any prosecutions will be brought in relation to the Bloody Sunday killings.