News Letter
3 May 2012 08:31

It is “hypocritical” that a convicted IRA bomber opened a “harrowing” exhibition about 9/11 victims in Belfast yesterday while a collage featuring IRA victims in Enniskillen has been banned from display, it has been claimed.

Sinn Fein’s Culture Minister, Caral Ni Chuilin, who has a conviction for IRA explosives offences, opened the Ground Zero 360 exhibition at the Public Record Office yesterday. The exhibition is being run by a former NYPD police officer Paul McCormack and his wife, photographer Nicola McClean, both of whom are Irish-born and were at the scene of the attack. They hope to bring the exhibition to Omagh and Enniskillen.

A spokeswoman for Ms Ni Chuilin’s department said the exhibition uses “harrowing visuals, chilling audio clips and a unique panoramic installation to depict the aftermath of 9/11”.

Speaking as she launched the exhibition Ms Ni Chuilin said: “This is a significant and poignant exhibition which we are honoured to have in Belfast. The events that occurred on Tuesday September 11 2001 changed the world completely. On that tragic day we all came together in shock and grief. Words cannot begin to describe the emotions and horror of those who witnessed and were part of the events at the Twin Towers.”

But Stephen Gault, whose father Samuel was killed in the IRA’s Poppy Day bomb in Enniskillen in 1987, said it was “very hypocritical” of Sinn Fein.

“9/11 was a terrible atrocity all right, but I don’t see Sinn Fein coming out and backing exhibitions of the victims from IRA attacks in Kingsmills or Teebane,” he said. “For victims of the IRA there is nothing more horrific than the horrors they suffered at the hands of that group,” he said.

Five years ago the Fire Service in Enniskillen removed a montage of the 11 people killed in the IRA bomb in the town from inside their station, after an anonymous complaint. Despite a public outcry, the Fire Service has refused to reinstate it. “It will be highly ironic if Sinn Fein back an exhibition of US terrorist victims while ignoring the fact that our own firefighters are denied the right to display a collage of IRA victims,” added Mr Gault.