Sammy Wilson 'agrees' with murals comparing IRA to ISIS

By Mark Devenport
BBC News NI Political Editor

image caption, Sammy Wilson made the mural remarks on a US TV report

DUP MP Sammy Wilson has said he agrees with the message of murals in loyalist areas which equate the IRA and Sinn Féin with the so-called Islamic State.

He made the comments on US TV to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Mr Wilson was asked his thoughts on murals comparing the ISIS-claimed 2015 Paris attacks with past IRA attacks.

The DUP MP replied there "has always been an affiliation between the Irish republicans and terrorist groups, especially in the Middle East".

The Belfast mural shows the aftermath of IRA bombings in London's Hyde Park and Canary Wharf, beside photos of the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

The caption reads: "IRA - Sinn Féin - ISIS, no difference."

Mr Wilson was asked if he agreed with that phrase and he replied: "I do. Yes, of course, I do."

He dismissed arguments that leaving the European Union could be a setback for Stormont.

Mr Wilson told PBS: "I'm fairly sure that at the end of this process we will be wondering 'What was all the fuss about?'"

image caption, Senator George Mitchell chaired the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998

However, the former Good Friday Agreement talks chairman, Senator George Mitchell, has expressed concern that the UK's withdrawal from the EU may limit the scope for co-operation between London and Dublin.

In an interview with Sky News, Senator Mitchell said the EU was an important factor that led the UK and Ireland to co-operate "in establishing a process that led to the Good Friday Agreement".

He added: "I think the UK being out of the European Union may reduce the prospect for further co-operation."

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