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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 19:39 GMT
Anger over bomber's Holyrood trip
Martina Anderson
Anderson said she wanted to talk to MSPs who opposed her visit
The visit by a convicted IRA bomber to the Scottish Parliament has been condemned by the Conservatives.

Phil Gallie MSP said it was wrong for Martina Anderson to take her campaigning to the parliament.

She was jailed for her part in a series of explosions in the 1980s, including the Brighton Tory conference bomb which killed five people.

Anderson, who was at Holyrood seeking support for a united Ireland, said she was disappointed by the reaction.

The Sinn Fein representative was part of the IRA cell which tried to kill Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet in 1984.

She is convicted of being involved in horrendous murders
Phil Gallie
Conservative MSP

The Brighton bombing missed Mrs Thatcher but killed five others, including Muriel Maclean, wife of Scottish party chairman Sir Donald Maclean.

Mr Gallie said: "I regret the fact that she has come to this place of new democracy.

"She is convicted of being involved in horrendous murders.

"I don't believe she served the proper time in prison for those crimes and for her to come here today parading around is totally wrong."

Anderson was released early under the Good Friday Agreement after serving 13 years for her crimes and has now said it is time to move on.

Grand Hotel in Brighton
The bombing of Brighton's Grand Hotel killed five people

"I suppose I can accept some people will have different opinions and views than my own," she said.

"I just wish that in the context we're in in the peace process that they could have found themselves capable and competent enough to come in and engage with me on that basis and just express their views."

MSPs who met her at Holyrood said it was good to learn how politics in Northern Ireland was progressing.

Independent MSP Margo MacDonald said: "I think it's in everyone's interest that the Northern Ireland Assembly is re-established as soon as possible.

"So I just wanted to find out where Sinn Fein is coming from. It was informative and instructive as far as I'm concerned."


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