Any crime gang with Regency hotel gun attack information should come forward - Sinn Féin TD
Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said any crime gang with information on the Regency Hotel shooting should come forward after it was suggested by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the guns involved in the attack are linked to the Provisional IRA.
Mr Doherty accused Mr Kenny of political point scoring by raising concerns that the killers’ guns may have come from a shipment of weapons linked to PIRA and insisted the terrorist organisation does not exist.
The Donegal TD, who regularly stays in the Regency Hotel, described the brutal murder last Friday as “appalling” and said the killers need to be taken off our streets.
Asked if Provisional IRA members should contact the gardai with any information on the murder, Mr Doherty said: “First of all the IRA is gone at this stage and their weapons have been put beyond use.”
“I think the basis of your question is really important and that is anybody who has information in relation to any criminal gang that is operating under whatever banner that they are operating should make that information available to the gardai or the PSNI or whatever relevant authorities so we can get these gangs off our street,” he added.
Mr Doherty also said: “The Taoiseach may want to make a political point in relation to this tragedy. The IRA is gone. The arms have been put beyond use many, many years ago.”
The Sinn Fein TD insisted his party wants to hold the Justice portfolio if they are elected to government and denied that there is a credibility issue surrounding his party due to their alleged links to terrorism and crime.
He described Fine Gael as “the so called party of law and order” and said Sinn Fein would reverse decisions the Government made in relation to the force over the last five years.
This will include reopening all closed Garda stations and recruiting 3,000 new gardai.
He said Sinn Fein’s plan to abolish the Special Criminal Court does not contradict its stance on protecting garda resources even though Garda representative bodies are in favour of non-jury courts.
Asked if the people of Ireland are ready to be ruled by party that still includes killers and bomb makers among their members, Mr Doherty said voters will be asked to “pass judgement on the credibility” of the party when the ballot boxes open in the coming weeks.
“Every election we have seen our mandate increase and I don’t think this election will be any different,” he said.
“All of the political parties have come from a tradition of where there has been violence. Thankfully Sinn Fein has been in position to change that position and the gun has been taken out of Irish politics for many, many years now.
"The war is over and we are not going back to it and those elements who try to take us back to that place in the past are being resisted by Sinn Fein in the North and the South,” he added.