A SCOTTISH ethics commissioner has been appointed to investigate complaints that Sinn Fein MLA Gerry glorified terrorism.
Unionists claimed the Old Bailey bomber’s language during a speech this summer at a republican commemoration in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, broke Stormont’s code of conduct.
Mr Kelly was addressing a republican demonstration marking the deaths of two IRA bombers killed by their own device while on their way to blow up the town.
Scotland’s Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life Stuart Allan will be tasked with investigating following agreement by the Assembly today.
The Assembly’s permanent standards commissioner Douglas Bain has decided he cannot intervene.
He has cited his membership of the Parades Commission which adjudicates on contentious marches, like Castlederg, would lead to concerns about his impartiality.
North Belfast assemblyman Mr Kelly has denied his speech was glorifying terrorism.
DUP MLA Tom Buchanan alleged his remarks “rang in the ears” of dissidents.
“Mr Kelly’s comments tell those republicans if you believe you have a vision of equality and freedom and if you know the risks you are taking you cannot stand idly by or leave it to others,” he told the assembly.
In August 1973 Gerard McGlynn, 18, and Seamus Harvey, 22, died when their bomb exploded prematurely near the town.
On the 40th anniversary of their deaths at their hands last month, Mr Kelly said: “They were ordinary young men in the extraordinary circumstances of the early 1970s who rose to the challenge of the time.
“They had a vision of equality and freedom and they knew the risks they were taking to achieve it but they could not stand idly by or leave it to others.
“It is a harsh reality of resistance that we lose some of our best activists during armed conflict and Seamus and Gerard along with their other comrades whom we remember here today, paid with their lives.”
The Tyrone Volunteers Day Parade commemorated republicans who died during the Troubles, including the two IRA men.
Several hundred bandsmen and republican supporters took part in the march.
Hundreds of protesters, including some family members of IRA murder victims, staged a counter-demonstration.