‘Sinn Fein sending mixed messages on Black murder’ - McCrea

A MID-ULSTER MLA has called upon the Deputy First Minister to clarify his party’s position on the murder of Cookstown man David Black.

Ian McCrea, who is also a councillor at Cookstown District Council. says Sinn Fein is sending “mixed messages” over the Northern Ireland prison officer’s murder.

It follows the party’s decision in Dungannon not to support a book of condolence to be opened in the town.

Councillor’s in Cookstown stood for a minute’s silence at this month’s full council meeting and one Sinn Fein member offered the party’s sympathies to the Black family.

But Mr McCrea said it is time that Martin McGuinness now clarified the “mixed messages” Sinn Fein’s representatives are sending out.

“At a time when we all should be standing together in our condemnation of the brutal murder of David Black, it beggars belief that Sinn Fein is sending out a mixed message.

“Martin McGuiness on the day of David Blacks murder rightly condemned it and indeed came to Cookstown to sign the book of condolence.

“In contrast to this position his Sinn Fein colleagues objected to a book of condolence opening at Dungannon Council and the rank hypocrisy of the Sinn Fein Mayor Phelim Gildernew to then sign it,” said the DUP Assemblyman.

“At Cookstown Council on Tuesday night a Sinn Fein councillor in speaking for his council group joined all other parties in condemning the murder and also stood for a minute’s silence.

“These mixed messages are further confounded by the Sinn Fein members of the policing board refusing to agree to the board standing for a minute’s silence, yet at Stormont they stood,” he added.

“I am requesting Martin McGuiness to state categorically what Sinn Fein’s position is regarding David Blacks murder. If it is his position then its time he informed and dealt with his fellow Councillors/MLA’s.”

Mr Black was shot dead on the M1 as he drove to work on 1 November.

Dissident republicans later claimed responsibility for his murder.