Friday 20 January 2017

Gang murder and 'Slab' sentencing have Sinn Féin in hole it just can't stop digging

Published 09/02/2016 | 02:30

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, who was convicted of tax dodging. Photo: Court Collins
Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, who was convicted of tax dodging. Photo: Court Collins

So much in elections is down to timing and, what Harold Macmillan famously referred to as, "events". And right now it seems Sinn Féin's luck is out on that score.

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Bad enough that the sentencing of Thomas 'Slab' Murphy is due to come smack, bang in the middle of the campaign - but then last Friday's horrific gangland attack in a Dublin hotel turned the party's stance on the Special Criminal Court into an election issue.

Murphy's sentencing was always going to be awkward for Sinn Féin. For reasons best known to themselves, senior party figures, including Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald, continue to stand over their description of a convicted tax evader as a "good Republican".

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