Northern Ireland

Councillor Padraig McShane stands by remarks praising MP Airey Neave's INLA killers

Padraig McShane an Independent member of Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council
Padraig McShane an Independent member of Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council

A INDEPENDENT councillor reported to police over his "twisted" comments about the INLA murder of Tory MP Airey Neave has said he stands by his remarks.

Padraig McShane, an independent republican councillor on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, praised the MP's killers on the 43rd anniversary of his death last month.

Writing on social media, he said: "To meet the Tory tyrant’s greed, a volunteer a bomb did leave, to kill the imperial Airey Neave, t’was they the freedom fighters."

He added: "You should be thanking Irish resistance fighters and asking, why not more of them? At the time of his demise, Neave called for more military repression of the Irish people.

"He was never a politician — he was a secret agent with a safe seat to cover his manoeuvres. He was a right-wing extremist who lived and died by the sword."

The DUP’s North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has complained to the PSNI and Local Government Ombudsman about the remarks.

"We need a clear message going out from every party in North Antrim that Councillor McShane's comments are evil, tasteless and grossly inappropriate," he said.

But Mr McShane told the Sunday Life his remarks were accurate.

"I am happy to stand by what I wrote because it is factual. Mervyn Storey is desperate to make himself relevant to a certain part of the electorate and that is why he has done this," he said.

Airey Neave was killed in an INLA under-car booby-trap bomb in March 1979.

A close aide of Margaret Thatcher, he was the first MP to be murdered during the Troubles.