Anne Travers the sister of Mary Travers who was murdered by the IRA outside St. Bridget’s Church on Derryvolgie made a telling intervention in April this year. On that occasion she demolished Pat Cusick of Sinn Fein on RTE’s Liveline (covered by Mick here). Then she was polite, controlled and brilliant as an advocate for victims. Today she has again made her point in the same quiet, powerful and eloquent fashion. This time it was following the news that one of those convicted of the murder of her 23 year old teacher sister (Mary McArdle) has been appointed as a special advisor to Sinn Fein Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin. Ms. Travers pointed out that unlike certain other convicted terrorists McArdle has not been elected.
Ann Travers said she was shocked and felt physically sick by the appointment.
“She’s now (McArdle) in the position in which she is paid by the taxpayer – of which my mum is one,” she added.
“I am absolutely horrified that she has been given such a position.
“I think it’s really wrong and I think she should stand down.”
Ms Travers said she had only found out about McArdle’s job when contacted by the BBC on Wednesday morning, and criticised Sinn Fein for not contacting her.
“They didn’t even have the decency to let us know that this woman involved in the murder of my sister had been given this job,” she said.
“While we all want to move forward and have peace in Northern Ireland, we’re still all allowed to grieve and we should never be asked to stop grieving or forget about our loved ones who were murdered.
“We’re not allowed to move on because every time we want to move on, Sinn Fein turn the knife a little bit more and we’re asked to accept a little bit more from them.”
She also called on Peter Robinson to raise the issue with Martin McGuinness: Mr. Robinson described the move as insensitive on twitter. Ulster Unionist assembly member Robin Swann described the appointment as “a calculated insult to victims”.
Martin McGuinness has previously described the murder of Miss Travers as “regrettable but understandable.”
There is a longer interview with Ms. Travers here on the UTV’s web site along with condemnation from Gregory Campbell, Alban Maginness and Jim Allister who described it as “a new low.”
This author has not written a biography and will not be writing one.