Alliance Deputy Leader Eileen Bell has urged the IRA to end the forcible exile of people from Derry.
Mrs Bell said that after hearing Martin McGuinness’s mother tell Spotlight of how her son called her every day, she wondered how many other mothers in Derry there were who would appreciate a call from their son to let them know they were they OK.
Mrs Bell, who is also Alliance’s Victims Spokesperson, said: “Mr McGuinness is a lucky man in that he can visit his family in Derry any time he chooses. Those exiled from the city by his friends in the IRA are not so fortunate. If they return home, they run the risk of being shot, or worse.
“Like Martin, each one of these people is some mother’s son. People like Joseph McCloskey, for example, who lives in fear of IRA reprisals after refusing to go along with their sick system of ‘justice’.
“Frequently, shootings and exiling are the work of the IRA, and cannot be conveniently laid at the door of ‘dissidents’ all the time.
“If the IRA is truly part of the peace process, it must end all forcible exiling now. Rather than make excuses and attempt to shift the blame elsewhere, the IRA should ask itself what it can give to rebuild confidence, instead of making petty gestures like ignoring the decommissioning commission.”