Allister Challenges Cullen on Appointment of Convicted Terrorist
Statement by TUV leader and North Antrim MLA Jim Allister:
“Since coming to office Minister Cullen has repeatedly demonstrated utter contempt for the victims of IRA terrorism. The tone was set when she appointed a convicted killer as her Special Adviser. Then a few weeks ago she told me in answer to an Assembly question that she was “not aware” of any GAA grounds or competitions named after terrorists, patently, because she does not acknowledge IRA killers as terrorists. Now we learn that she has appointed an IRA hunger striker who served 16 years for attempted murder to the board of NI Screen.
“Laurence McKeown is supremely unfitted for such a role and his appointment is a calculated insult to all innocent victims of the Troubles.
“Not only was McKeown convicted of the attempted murder of an RUC officer in 1976 but he then went on to work for a Republican prisoners’ group.
“Cullen herself served as a director of the same group until her resignation in November of last year.
“I have today tabled a written question to the Minister asking her to explain why she has made such an insensitive appointment. In truth, however, it has been apparent for some time that Cullen - herself a convicted terrorist - has no shame in using her position to elevate people of this ilk to positions of influence."