A controversial monument to dead IRA members in Co Fermanagh is being removed because of protests from the families of two men murdered by the organisation, it was revealed today.
Republicans have accepted they were insensitive in the choice of site for the monument to three IRA men shot dead in 1992.
The marble and granite memorial at Belleek will be removed and relocated following several months of discussions with the families of two Protestant workers who were shot dead by the IRA close by.
Sinn Fein Assembly member for the area, Gerry McHugh said: ‘‘There was somewhat of an oversight in relation to the placing of the monument.
‘‘There was never any intention of placing a monument that would cause offence or indeed further pain to anyone.
‘‘It is for this reason that we are actually going to relocate the monument. I think it is a genuine attempt by republicans to actually deal with the situation and recognise the grief and pain of the families.’’
Mr McHugh said the decision had been supported by the families of the IRA men named on the monument and followed representations from the families of the workmen.
The announcement comes three days after the IRA issued its ground breaking apology for the deaths of all the non security force or paramilitary people it killed over 30 years of violence.
But Mr McHugh said that while the latest decision was in recognition of the pain and grief suffered by the families of the two men, it was coincidental that the memorial decision had come so soon after the IRA statement.
‘‘Talks with the families have been going on for months,’’ he said.