Mary didn’t set out to hurt anybody says Fr Aidan Troy

Following the retraction and apology made by President Mary McAleese for her controversial comments made during a Holocaust memorial event, Fr Aidan Troy has called on people to “leave it at that”.

On Thursday the President said that the Nazis "gave to their children an irrational hatred of Jews in the same way that people in Northern Ireland transmitted to their children an irrational hatred of Catholics, in the same way that people give to their children an outrageous and irrational hatred of those who are different colour and all of those things." She later apologised for her “clumsy” choice of words in a bid to defuse the looming row with the Protestant community. The DUP and the Orange Order have both welcomed the swift apology but added that they are not considering a meeting with the President any time soon.

Father Aidan Troy, Parish Priest of the Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne, spoke to the Andersonstown News to voice his views on the issue.

"My take is that Mary McAleese never set out to hurt anybody, it is not in her nature to do so. I believe that she tried to give a good example of how easy it is for a community to slip into a sectarian way of thinking, she gave an example of a situation she knows but the reaction has just got out of hand. I know both Mary and her husband very well and there isn't a trace of malice there. She has apologised and people should leave it at that." he said.

Mrs McAleese, who hails from the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, said she didn't intend to “single out” the Protestant community and that she hopes to continue building relations with both sections of the community.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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