Sinister posters erected in Lurgan over the weekend have been condemned by all sides of the community.
However, Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart said people will look at John O’Dowd’s comments “with a sense of irony given the repeated PIRA glorifications, sponsored by his party, which have sole purpose of celebrating the use of guns”.
Mr O’Dowd had hit out at those responsible for placing the placards, which depict a woman holding a gun emblazoned with the words ‘Time to Decide’.
The Sinn Fein MLA said: “The promotion of the gun in today’s Ireland is totally unacceptable and should be condemned by all.”
Ms Lockhart also condemned the posters but said: “I certainly don’t know anyone who is suggesting violence as a course of action.
“Violence has proved over and over to be futile and ends only in broken homes and lives. The Protocol will be opposed by peaceful and democratic means. We have a strong argument, and we will make it heard.”
She added: “Of course, there is no place for the gun in politics today just as there was no justification for the use of guns in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
“There was never justification for violence yet Sinn Fein spend most weekends celebrating and glorifying the people who used guns to murder innocent men, women and children.”
Meanwhile, Ms Lockhart has called on people across Upper Bann to sign the petition calling on the Government to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Commenting, the DUP MP, said: “Opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol is growing as the impact of the Protocol becomes clearer. The disastrous impact on businesses and consumers is costing people in their pocket, and with their jobs in some cases. It has to go.
“As part of our five point plan, working alongside other unionists, we have launched a petition to the Government called for Article 16 of the Protocol to be triggered.
“Over 130,000 people have signed it so far, with Upper Bann leading the way in terms of signatures. Thank you to everyone who has already signed. However we want to send the strongest possible message so we need more signatures, and I would urge those in Upper Bann who have not yet signed up, to do so and make their views known.
“While the pro-Protocol parties of Alliance, SDLP and SF wish to continue with the Protocol, burying their heads in the sand while local business and consumers suffer, we will continue to work towards an alternative way forward.
“Rather than champion the EUs interests, I urge those parties to join us in championing the interests of our people here in Northern Ireland.”
You can sign the petition via a link on Carla Lockhart MPs Facebook page.
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