I have blogged previously about the attempt by Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann to have an event to commemorate / celebrate Mairead Farrell under the disguise of International Womens Day. Jeffrey Donaldson has proposed an event at Stormont to honour the SAS. On the DUP website he criticises the planned SF event and says of the planned DUP event: However it is right and proper that we should celebrate and commemorate our armed forces who stood against terrorists such as Farrell. Many of these men and women gave their life to defend our democratic rights and oppose those who sought to take our rights away. I personally was inspired by our soldiers who stood against terrorism to the extent where I joined the Ulster Defence Regiment.
This initial event will be an opportunity to pay tribute to those SAS men and women who protected Northern Ireland from the evil hands of terrorists. But, over the coming months the DUP will be seeking to invite other representatives of the armed forces to Stormont where we can make presentations to former soldiers in admiration of their sacrifice for our Province.
Dr. Paisley himself led a party delegation to see the speaker in order to try to stop the planned SF event which is now (according to the BBC) to be considered by the commission which runs events at Stormont.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, in the Belfast Telegraph it has been suggested that Jeffrey Donaldson will not proceed with his plan if SF calls off the Farrell celebration. This seems extremely foolish from the former UDR man as he could easily be perceived to be equating SFs celebration of a convicted terrorist with that of an event to thank those who helped prevent terrorism. This possibility of some sort of tit for tat event and tit for tat withdrawal of events seems degrading to the memory and sacrifice of the security forces in their attempts to stop terrorists.