Progressive Unionist Party leader Billy Hutchinson has repeated his assertion in today’s Belfast News Letter that he has no regrets about his part in the sectarian murder of two half-brothers in 1974.
Edward Morgan (27) and Michael Loughran (18) were gunned down on the Falls Road in Belfast as they walked to work on the morning of October 21st.
During the murder trial, evidence was heard that the killers drove around and selected their victims randomly. Hutchinson served 15 years of a life sentence. He previously stated his lack of regret in Peter Taylor’s BBC documentary Loyalists in 1999 (above).
In his interview with Eamonn Mallie to be shown on BBC One on Monday night, Ian Paisley when referring to the bombings is quoted as saying:
“The political leaders brought it on themselves. I was very much shocked that there was anyone going to be hurt in that way. But I mean, who brought that on themselves was the people that, their own political leaders, and they had endorsed in what their attitude to Northern Ireland, and at that time the attitude of the south government in Northern Ireland was ridiculous, so it was. I not only had nothing to do with it, but I’d said I had nothing to do with it and denounced the people who had done it… What more could I do? I took my stand. I denounced what was wrong, but I could not say to the people: ‘Just sit down and let them put a rope round your neck’.”
The UVF-linked PUP has said that there must be “safeguards” against “retribution” when dealing with the legacy of the Troubles. The party yesterday published a four-page document, ‘Transforming the legacy 2’, as Dr [Richard] Haass [US diplomat chairing all-party talks] began his work.
The postmodern document said that there could be no absolute truth about the Troubles because “truth is changeable”, arguing that there should therefore be no attempt to find “the truth” of what happened in the Troubles. It added: “There can be no attempt to use a reconciliation process to enshrine narratives about who inflicted the most and who suffered the most.”
A mural of soccer legend George Best is being replaced by a painting of a UVF gunman and the quote ‘Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed‘ in Sydenham, East Belfast.
The Best mural was created in 2010 with the help of Belfast City Council’s Peace III project with a grant of £1,500 to cover materials which itself, replaced a UVF mural at the time.