JIM CUSACK SINN FEIN'S Mary Lou McDonald has been accused of "warped principles" for participating in a republican commemoration ceremony last year for a Nazi collaborator while standing as a candidate for the European Parliament.
McDonald appeared alongside the convicted bomber and hard-line Belfast IRA figure Brian Keenan at the event in Fairview Park beside a statue of Sean Russell, who died while on a German U-boat off the west coast during the Second World War.
Fianna Fail's Eoin Ryan yesterday called on McDonald to explain to Dublin voters why she "stood shoulder to shoulder with a brutal IRA bomber less than nine months ago to honour a friend of the Holocaust".
Mr Ryan, one of two Fianna Fail European election candidates in Dublin, said that while the rest of Europe was commemorating the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the start of the liberation of Europe, McDonald was prepared to celebrate a Nazi collaborator.
He said: "As Europe gathers this weekend, on Normandy's D-Day beaches, to honour the memory of those heroic men and women who sacrificed their lives in World War II to liberate Europe and defeat the horror of Nazism, I ask Mary Lou to let the people of Dublin know what she stands for.
"The EU grew out of a determination that Europe would never again experience the tyranny of a dictator like Hitler. You say you want to be a MEP, yet nine months ago you celebrated the memory of a Nazi collaborator. Russell, like others who freely aided the Nazis, is reviled today across Europe, and rightly so.
"McDonald thinks nothing of speaking at commemorations to honour a Nazi collaborator and his contemptible memory. Mary Lou McDonald, please explain to the people of Dublin, Ireland and Europe why you stood shoulder to shoulder with a brutal IRA bomber less than nine months ago to honour a friend of the Holocaust.
"Shame on you Mary Lou and your warped principles."
He challenged McDonald to explain "how you can represent Dubliners' interests in Europe while you honour an ally of Adolf Hitler. You are asking the people of Dublin to send you to Europe - I believe they deserve an explanation.
"Both McDonald and Keenan delivered passionate speeches at the foot of Russell's statue in Fairview Park at a ceremony to honour his memory just last August. Does Mary Lou have no shame?"
Referring to Keenan, who led the bloody Seventies bombing campaign in Britain in which dozens were killed, Mr Ryan pointed out that he has made several pro-IRA speeches in recent times and accused the Dublin Government of being "collaborators".
"The people of Dublin and Ireland should know the kind of company Mary Lou McDonald keeps," Mr Ryan said. He also called on Dublin City Council to demolish the Fairview Park statue of Russell and said it is "an enduring shame [on] our City that we continue to allow this statue of Sean Russell to remain standing".
He added: "In democratic Europe, Dublin remains the only city that still contains a statue honouring an ally of Hitler. Dublin City Council must act immediately and free our city of the EU's last remaining monument to a servant of the Third Reich."