The constant political persecution directed against me by DUP extremists is quite extraordinary. Never has any Republican prisoner had to endure such a prolonged venomous onslaught. The latest outburst by Nigel Dodds, Arlene Foster and Maurice Morrow as reported on the front page of the Newsletter on May 23rd is just another example of this.
I contend that this obsession with me has nothing to do with justice or even politics but rooted in a near satanic hatred of the Catholic Faith of which I am perceived to be a defender by some of these extremists. Much of this can be traced to October 2010, when the Dungannon Free Presbyterian sect founded by Ian Paisley and with significant DUP membership, placed a paid advertisement in Dungannon based Tyrone Courier newspaper, which described the Catholic mass as "blasphemous fable" and the pope as "a man of sin" and the "antichrist".
Incredibly the Tyrone Courier published the ad and Catholics, who constitute overwhelmingly the majority of the population in Tyrone, were outraged. As a member of the AOH in Tyrone I was approached to give leadership on this issue and I did.
In the first instance I brought a complaint to the Advertising Standard Agency and, amid much local publicity, asked Unionist politicians in the area to condemn this type of anti-Catholic sectarianism outright. They refused to do so, but they were clearly and seriously rattled by the fact that Catholics would no longer tolerate this "croppies lie down" attitude. In their rage, they have run a very personalized hate campaign against me ever since, which puts self righteous hysterical media tirades into context.
Bearing all this in mind, I now once again call upon Arlene Foster and Maurice Morrow to condemn this type of anti-Catholic sectarianism in East Tyrone without reservation. Should they fail to do so, they must stand indicted before the world as unrepentant sectarian bigots with whom civilized society should have no truck.