Friday 28 July 2017

If Sinn Féin TDs want to talk about Nazis, they should look to their own party's history

Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny Picture: Tom Burke
Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny Picture: Tom Burke
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

There's a contemporary adage about political debates that whoever first brings up a Nazi comparison in an argument, loses the argument. Nothing compares to the Nazi crimes and anyone who tries to inflate their talking-point by doing so seems absurd and insensitive.

Sinn Féin's Martin Kenny (no kin) is evidently not a subscriber to this thesis, as he introduced the Nazi parallel last week in Dáil Éireann in the context of the distressful situation around the Tuam mother and baby home. The Sligo-Leitrim TD said he had "often wondered about Hitler, the Germans and what happened to the Jews and how he was able to do what he did. If you sit and think about the kind of Ireland we had, it is very easy to understand how people were able to do these things."

If Mr Kenny really did "wonder" about Hitler, the Nazis and the Third Reich, he could have done so by dipping into the archives of his own party, Sinn Féin, which, historically, is replete with examples of his historical predecessors who behaved as though they were much in sympathy with Hitler's Reich.

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