DUP fury over 'mob death corporals' vote

Published Thursday, 04 April 2013
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The leader of the DUP on Belfast City Council has slammed the Alliance Party for not backing a motion to remember the mob murders of Corporals David Howes and Derek Wood 25 years ago.

DUP fury over 'mob death corporals' vote
David Wood and Derek Howes were remembered with a mural in east Belfast. (© Pacemaker)

The two British soldiers were dragged from their vehicle after driving into the path of an IRA funeral in west Belfast.

They were brutally beaten before being taken to waste land, stripped and shot.

At the latest monthly council meeting, the DUP proposed remembering the two men.

But the Alliance Party tabled an amendment, proposing that all victims of the Troubles be remembered instead of singling out particular cases.

The Alliance Party proposed a form of words that placed innocent soldiers on the same level as terrorists.

Christopher Stalford, DUP

"It is clear that the Alliance Party has become so consumed by hatred towards unionists that they will oppose almost anything that unionists propose," DUP alderman Christopher Stalford said.

"The Alliance Party needs to take a long, hard look at themselves following this meeting and decide just what has happened to their moral compass."

The DUP accused the Alliance Party of "riding to the rescue of Sinn Féin" by tabling the amendment and said they had "lost their way" by failing to condemn the corporals' murders.

The party insists that its original motion was not controversial or designed to offend anyone.

"It was designed to show respect for Corporals Wood and Howes, to praise their bravery and restraint in the face of a violent mob," Mr Stalford added.

"And to assure their families that their sacrifice would never be forgotten."

Alliance Councillor Mervyn Jones insisted that he had condemned the killings in his speech to the council, but felt that "by having a motion condemning all murders, it would help us move forward".

With many anniversaries coming up in the next couple of years, I believe it is important for the Council to have direction in how we deal with the past by condemning violence from all quarters.

Mervyn Jones, Alliance

He explained: "Alliance proposed this amendment so that Belfast Council would show its opposition to all forms of violence and condemn all the deaths that occurred during the Troubles.

"If we are to work towards a shared society, then we must have an agreed comprehensive method of dealing with the past - instead of concentrating on specific cases.

"We could have motions each month that brought up every incident which would not lead to progress in how we deal with the past."

The mob attack on the two corporals was captured by television cameras and is widely regarded as one of the most chilling moments of the Troubles.

Catholic priest Father Alec Reid witnessed the scenes and tried to intervene to save the men, despite being told he would be shot for his efforts.

He was dragged away, but managed to follow the black taxi which took the soldiers away to be killed. While unable to prevent their murders, Father Reid administered the last rites.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
M in Belfast wrote (664 days ago):
Jackie in belfast. No shoe on the other foot about it and im going to call you out on this one . Im sure you read my comment in full and im sure you noted , but obviously chose to ignore the fact that i emphasised twice that i did not agree with the soldiers death. To answer your question in the context my comment was written. Do i feel the IRA were a legitimate target in the eyes of the British Army? Without a doubt.
Mike in England wrote (664 days ago):
Ryan you have one big problem. It is N.I will never happen. To many hate filled people. Independence is your only hope. Then you have another problem. You cannot support yourselves.
petand in Londonderry wrote (664 days ago):
Ryan in Belfast. Very well said. I am in total agreement. The crowd on the hill seem to lead our people from one sectarian crisis to another and in the meantime poverty is endemic in Northern Ireland with a large number of our children being deprived of the basic amenities. Shame on our so called representatives in their beautiful Armani suits
Ryan in Belfast wrote (665 days ago):
I think its time for the people of the 6 counties, or northern ireland, or whatever you like to call it, wise up and stop attacking each others community. Its about time both catholic and protestant people put aside their differences (we'll discussion history and nationality politics at a later date) and come together and work together into sorting out the amount of poverty, drugs, suicide, etc that is happening in BOTH of our communities. The reality is jobs, money, living standards, etc is far more important than what you consider to be your national flag, the bread and butter issues are the most important to the normal people. So see this "tit for tat" business, just cut it out, seriously because while both protestants and catholics bicker, our living standards is going down, our youths are committing suicide, our children are going hungary, etc we should be working together in getting our economy back on track, making jobs, increasing living standards, etc because thats what matters.
WTF in Florida wrote (665 days ago):
@Eamo....it was/is most certainly not a war. Nor was it a 'canflickt'. It was a sectarian genocidal terrorist campaign by both sides., Loyalist and Republican. Please don't try to beef it up into something it wasn't..
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