'Army council decides Sinn Féin's strategy', Fianna Fáil TD tells Dáil
The Army Council "decides Sinn Féin strategy" the Dáil has heard.
Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breatnach launched a ferocious attack on Sinn Féin, claiming the party is being directed by an "illegal armed gang."
The Louth deputy, who is the party's junior spokesperson on Cross-Border Co-Operation, also cited the ongoing political impasse in the North, telling the Dáil that "zero sum politics is sustaining a fertile ground for paramilitaries."
Mr Breatnach, seen as an effective but low-key first time TD, added:
"The fact that the Army council decides Sinn Fein strategy is profoundly anti-democratic, as it means that a political party operating in both jurisdictions is being directed by an illegal armed gang. There is absolutely no space for that in a democracy."
In his speech, Mr Breatnach described the IRA as a "highly lucrative criminal network."
And he said it plays a role in setting the political agenda both North and South.