Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United: “We hold a consistent policy in opposing terrorism and criminal violence irrespective as to who the perpetrators are, by extension we are also consistent in our opposition to showing of terrorism idolatry or glorification. The crude poster erected in Moygashel to deceased terrorist Wesley Somerville of the UVF is an example of terrorism idolatry”.
“We at IVU acknowledge and recognise that families will grieve and have an absolute right to remember a loved one irrespective of the circumstances in which that individual died or lost their life”.
“But what we will not accept nor endorse are public showings of terrorism idolatry. The Miami Showband attack which resulted in three members of the band being murdered including Brian McCoy (a Protestant from Caledon, County Tyrone just a small distance away) was a cowardly and depraved action. The fact that two members of a terrorist organisation also lost their lives in that attack is not something to be either celebrated or commemorated – it simply should not have happened. There was zero legitimacy for the Miami Showband attack and that is the case for all terror crimes perpetrated by the UVF, PIRA and their sister organisations”.
“The fact that this poster has now been removed in somewhat mysterious circumstances is causing further debate and some have indicated that this will bring a response. The fact is that the poster should never have gone up in the first place. The role of political and community leaders must be to stand with the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism. Those who subscribed to an ideology which provided them with the justification to murder their neighbours or those who excuse such actions must be faced down. Remorse, Repentance and Restitution – not terrorism idolatry is the only way reconciliation can be attained in this Country at both a communal and individual level”.
“The actions of Wesley Somerville, Haris Boyle and a small number of others who double-jobbed whilst serving in The Ulster Defence Regiment is a stain upon the tens of thousands who served within that legitimate force with honour and integrity – who stood against the onslaught of terrorism and who were murdered in their scores. Dungannon and its’ hinterlands has many gravestones and plaques in halls, not to mention broken hearts as a consequence”.
“Across these lands and beyond on almost every day of the year families remember loved ones whose lives were taken through acts of terrorism. Over the years these families have acted with immense dignity and courage. Their approach is in stark contrast to the coat trailing efforts of republican and loyalist terror organisations and their political voices who are not acting in the interests of the surviving families whose loved ones subscribed to their death cults and they most certainly are doing nothing to heal the pain of those they so grievously wronged”.
“Unashamedly our concern is with the McCoy family, those others who perished within the Miami Showband, those who narrowly survived and also all other innocents and their families who fell foul of the actions of Wesley Somerville, Haris Boyle and other terrorists”.
“Within the Dungannon and Mid-Ulster area there are also many abuses by Republicans who daily glorify and engage in terrorism idolatry, political and community leaders have a choice – stand by the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism and seek to encourage genuine Peace and Reconciliation or continue to be a part of the problem by either promoting or excusing the perpetuation of terrorism,” concluded Mr Donaldson.