“who pull down statues, who deny the history of any place”

With Londonderry keen to capitalise on its 2013 UK City of Culture title, despite the apparent confusion of some, Mark Devenport notes a singular failure of irony by Northern Ireland junior Minister, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly.

Rejecting TUV calls for the historic buildings at the Maze to be demolished, Gerry Kelly told reporters in North Belfast this afternoon that the people calling for the bulldozers to be sent in were the kind of people “who pull down statues, who deny the history of any place”. What could have put that in the Sinn Fein Junior Minister’s mind? Could it have been the overnight attack on the statue of the Seventeenth Century Governor George Walker? As the news report makes clear this isn’t the first assault on a statue of the Governor – the original was destroyed in an IRA bomb attack in 1973.