26/09/2019

SF Slammed Over Maze Prison Escape Tweets

The son of a murdered prison officer has shamed comments made by Gerry Kelly MLA that appeared to celebrate the Maze Prison escape in 1983.

Democratic Unionist Councillor Kyle Black's father David was shot dead while driving on a motorway in November 2012. Mr Black was the first prison officer to be killed by republicans following the Good Friday Agreement.

Commemorating his escape from H block 7 at the former maximum security prison, while tweeting about the current situation at Westminster, the north Belfast MLA said: "36 years ago today I was in H Block 7, getting ready to escape from the 'most secure prison in Europe' with 37 other political prisoners. We succeeded. Boris, I'm prepared to give you some advice."

Prison officer James Ferris suffered a heart attack and died after he was stabbed during the escape of 38 IRA prisoners, while another offer was shot in the head, but managed to survive.
News Image
Following the death of his father, Mr Black said the comments were "insensitive and highly offensive to the family, friends, and colleagues of these officers".

"Shameful," he added.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell urged Mr Kelly and his party colleague Martina Anderson MEP to apologise for their "gloating" over the escape.

A total of twenty prison officers were injured, as well as four who were stabbed and two shot.

Responding to the controversial tweet, Ms Anderson wrote: "Remember that day with pride," alongside an image with the words "so proud of you".

East L'Derry MP Gregory Campbell said: "Gerry Kelly is an MLA and Martina Anderson is an MEP. For either to glory in an act where twenty public servants were injured is outrageous and downright offensive to victims of PIRA terrorism.

"Once again this shows that Sinn Fein clings to the legacy of the PIRA and sends mixed messages to the republican terrorists of 2019.

"Whether it is a decision to chase hard-line votes or not both elected Sinn Fein members should apologise and state clearly that we should not glory in the violence of the past."



(JG/MH)

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