Alliance Party Spokesman Dr Philip McGarry, commenting on the reaction of Mitchell McLoughlin and Gerry Adams to the escape of Liam Avril, has said that there is a fundamental gulf in values between those who have always opposed violence in Ireland and those who have supported it.
Dr McGarry said:
“Three years ago Liam Avril carried out a particularly brutal and openly sectarian murder on two Protestant men. This was a completely immoral act and was as reprehensible as the viscous and immoral murder of Mr Duffy in Glengormley by a Loyalist Group last weekend.
“Mitchell McLoughlin has referred to Liam Avril as a ‘prisoner of war’. Gerry Adams has wished him good luck. These comments expose the cruel reality that despite the rhetoric about peace the Leaders of Sinn Fein regarded the sectarian murder of Irish Protestants as justifiable and understandable acts.
“On the other hand there are many people in Northern Ireland of all religious persuasions who have always opposed violence and who will never seek to justify the killing of any person whether for the cause of Nationalism or for the cause of Unionism.”