MSP’s Titantic comments enrage Belfast politicians

THE SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has angered Belfast-based politicians after she described the events remembering the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of over 1,500 lives as a “ghoulish obsession”.

Ms McAlpine, who is a parliamentary aide to Alex Salmond, suggested more time ought to be spent remembering Scottish-built ships, which did not end up at the bottom of the ocean.

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Her remarks were criticised in Belfast, where the Titanic was built. In a newspaper column, Ms McAlpine wrote: “There is something ghoulish about our obsession with the Titanic. As the daughter, grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter of Clydeside men, who built ships that did not succumb to their first clash with the elements I wonder if we are missing a trick?

“The grand old Queen Mary built at John Brown’s in Clydebank sailed the Atlantic between 1936 and 1967 avoiding icebergs every time.”

Alliance Party MP for East Belfast Naomi Long said: “Anyone who says that is completely divorced from the reality of the last few weeks. We have been marking both the triumph of the ship itself and tragedy of the maiden voyage. Quite rightly we should be proud of our industrial heritage”