IRA men had TD's posters, CS gas, stun gun and balaclava
Published 29/02/2012 | 05:00
NOT for the first time has Aengus O Snodaigh's constituency operation come to national attention. But his €50,000 bill for printer ink cartridges will go down in the annals.
The Sinn Fein TD for Dublin South-Central is relatively low profile, even more so since the arrival of the new generation of Sinn Fein TDs in last year's general election.
He was one of the Sinn Fein TDs who made the breakthrough in the 2002 election, when the party's representation in the Dail increased from one to six.
Later that year, five men were arrested with vehicles containing a sledgehammer, balaclava, two-way radio, a stun gun, a CS gas canister, a blue flashing light, a beacon and a fluorescent jacket with the word 'Garda' printed on it.
A large quantity of Mr O Snodaigh's election posters were also found. The five men were subsequently jailed for four years each for membership of the Provisional IRA.
Mr O Snodaigh said he had "no idea" how his election posters ended up in a van used by five men subsequently convicted of IRA membership.
Mr O Snodaigh is a fluent Irish speaker and comes from a family of Gaeilgeoiri. He grew up in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, and is the son of the writer and publisher Padraig O Snodaigh and the sculptor Cliona Cussen.
Mr O Snodaigh's brothers are members of the well-known Irish-music band Kila.
He is married to Aisling Ni Dhalaigh, the couple have three children and live in Ballyfermot.
He attended the Gaelscoileanna Scoil Lorcain and Colaiste Eoin and went on to study for a Bachelor of Arts and Higher Diploma in Education at UCD.
He first ran for Sinn Fein in the 1987 general election in his native Dublin South-East, receiving just 800 votes. Fifteen years later after switching to Dublin South-Central, he became a TD.
He was active in the republican movement, working with Sinn Fein's 'An Phoblacht' newspaper.