Nicola Sturgeon has been condemned for refusing to condemn an SNP MSP, who said the IRA could be considered “freedom fighters”.
John Mason sparked outrage when he said on twitter he was “not taking sides” on the murder of three, unarmed Scottish soldiers by the republican terrorists during the Troubles.
Dougald McCaughey, John McCaig, Joseph McCaig of the Royal Highland Fusiliers were murdered by the IRA in March 1971 in north Belfast after being lured to their deaths on the pretext of being taken to meet girls at a party.
One of the soldiers’ cousins David McCaughey told the Belfast News Letter: “They (SNP) don’t care about our soldiers, they just look on them as an arm of the British state, so they have no sympathy towards them. Their sympathies are towards Sinn Fein. But in reality they owe an apology to the families of these soldiers.”
The DUP’s Nelson McCausland said: “Nicola Sturgeon, John Mason and others should remember that these men were Scottish soldiers, two of whom were teenagers, and the families from which they came are Scottish families.
“Are they not entitled to expect that the First Minister of Scotland will ensure, in her role as leader of the SNP, that her colleagues do not speak in such an offensive manner about a crime which shocked both Ulster and Scotland?”
SNP Spokesperson: “As we have already made clear, John Mason’s comments do not represent the position of the SNP and are not endorsed by the party.”