Controversial commentator George Galloway has compared the torture of Iraqi civilians by occupying forces to what happened in Coalisland Police Barracks during the Troubles.
The former Celebrity Big Brother star was in town to lambast former Prime Minister Tony Blair with a showing of his self-financed movie The Killings of Tony Blair.
A Question and Answer session afterwards in the Craic Theatre turned into a political debate, which rounded upon not only Tony Blair and his political allies Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell, but also the Labour Party and the British Establishment.
Galloway provoked the biggest round of applause from the audience when he called for a United Ireland.
“This false creation of what they call Northern Ireland has to pass into the pages of history and the Irish people have got to be reunited, I strongly believe that,” he told the packed audience at Craic Theatre.
The Scottish politician, who was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003, urged the audience to use referenda, polls and petitions to produce the political change.
“The North is an occupied piece of land. It’s a standing disgrace,” he said. “The Irish have to find a way towards unifying Ireland because what you have here is not only ridiculous it’s failing.”
Galloway railed against Britain’s bloody imperial history but denied that Scottish Independence would improve things. He said that the torture scenes referred to in his film would be ‘eerily familiar’ to the audience, and could be compared to ‘what happened at the barracks at the bottom of the road’.
Galloway was in Coalisland as part of the Charlie Donnelly Winter School.
He also signed a petition to support One Ireland One Vote and the right of the people of Ireland.
Afterwards he was praised on social media for his stance, but also criticised for refusing to support Scottish Independence.