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The Shooting of a Police Officer in North Belfast

Part of Matter of the Day – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:15 pm on 23rd January 2017.

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Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice 12:15 pm, 23rd January 2017

My primary thoughts are with the officer who was subjected to this vile attack last night. We wish him well and a full recovery. It is a reminder to us of how the police and security services stand between us and those with murder in their hearts. Although, happily, this officer escaped death, that was not thanks to those who set out patently with murder in their hearts and used weaponry that was most likely to occasion murder even on a mass scale. It is a quite shocking situation, but let it be said that it is no more shocking, no more vile and no more unjustified than the terrorists of the IRA or anyone else who, for years, inflicted such horror; those who, with murder in their hearts, went out and did murder.

I listened today to condemnation from Mr Gerry Kelly, himself a convicted terrorist, who, to this day, has not acknowledged that his terrorism was wrong, unjustified and uncalled for, but rather still honours and glories in, as does his party, those very acts of terror. What does that do today? It does not just speak to their character, but to today's terrorists; gives them succour, provides a crutch for them and causes them to conclude that if it was OK for the Provos, it is OK for them. Until those who represented that previous terrorism acknowledge and renounce it, then that crutch is going to continue to be provided.

I will make one other point. I hope someone — hopefully, more than one person — is made amenable for this crime. I trust that, when they are arrested, they will not be easily, as was the person charged with the attempted murder of David Black, admitted to bail, and that their bail terms will not be made so easy if they are admitted to bail, and they should not be in the first place.