DUP peer looks to create 'glorifying terrorism' offence as part of Troubles legislation
DUP peer Lord Nigel Dodds is proposing the creation of a new 'glorifying terrorism' offence to be included in the UK government's Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, currently making its way through Parliament.
The new offence will be based on section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Dodds is also seeking to ensure that any immunity from prosecution for Troubles-related offences granted under the new legacy would be an aggravating factor during sentencing.
The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill proposes granting immunity for people accused of crimes during the Troubles if they co-operate with a new truth recovery body, and stopping future court processes.
The government bill has been opposed by most political parties. Lord Dodds of Duncairn singled out Sinn Féin involvement in IRA commemorations for criticism as he outlined his proposal. He said:
“We have witnessed obscene acts of glorification of terrorist murderers on a constant basis.
"This has been led by prominent Sinn Fein politicians who continue to re-traumatise innocent victims by acts of glorification and commemoration of blood thirsty terrorist murderers.
"This amendment is designed to try to reign in this kind of obnoxious behaviour.
"We have egregious examples such as Michelle O’Neill commemorating the death of Terrorist Thomas McElwee without mentioning the fact he burned to death a young woman Yvonne Dunlop who was in a shop which he firebombed.
"Innocent victims have seen sports facilities and playparks either being named after terrorists or plaques erected to glorify them.
"For too long apologists for murder have hypocritically mouthed platitudes about human rights whilst defending and eulogising some of the most obscene acts of violence carried out by criminals and mass murderers.”