Barry has now rather implausibly claimed that it was unintended. This Twitter exchange in Irish, I had this morning, I think covers all probable bases on that:
Samhlaigh, le tamall anuas tá scéal na coscartha ar an nuacht. Chuaigh sé isteach i siopa le cara, roghnaigh sé arán le ainm faoi leith, chuir sé ar a cheann, leis an ainm soléir do gach duine, cothrom an lae a dhunmharaigh a chairde na n-oibrí. Comhtharlú??
— An Saoi saonta (@AnSaoiSaonta) January 6, 2018
In short, there’s no political punchline to the ‘joke’ if it is not at the expense of the victims of a massacre so grimly sectarian the provisionals immediately denied it at the time.
The thing itself is pretty horrendous since Kingsmill was just one of many egregious human rights violations of the troubles. The denial by McElduff is a further expression of scorn.
The behaviour of SF’s evidently underemployed and absentee MP for West Tyrone underwrites a point Provisional IRA volunteer Shane Paul Doherty was reported making in the News Letter earlier this week:
The moral hazard of allowing a peace process to go forward without any repentance, or admission of guilt of terrorism by those involved, has huge moral consequences for society. Great wrongs are just being covered up and whitewashed out of history.” Mr O’Doherty said that if the Northern Ireland conflict was a war in any sense of the word, then “people guilty of war crimes have been financially and politically rewarded through the Good Friday Agreement”.
And when war crimes become a joke?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty