Friday 23 March 2018

Live radio blamed for SF's candidate's failure to condemn killing of Det Garda Jerry McCabe

Jerry McCabe
Jerry McCabe
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

A Sinn Féin election candidate claimed the pressures of live radio may be to blame for a colleague's refusal to condemn the killing of Garda Jerry McCabe.

Séamus Browne is running in the Limerick County Constituency where Garda McCabe was shot dead in 1996 and yesterday he moved to condemn the killing.

And the councillor said that he could not understand why Louise O'Reilly, who is Sinn Féin's candidate in the Dublin Fingal constituency, did not do the same during a radio interview. Several of his party colleagues hurried to condemn the killing yesterday, amid the fallout from Ms O'Reilly's on-air fudging of the issue.

"I heard that radio interview and I could not figure it out really," said Mr Browne.

"I listened to it and I don't think she commented on it properly, maybe because of the studio and being in RTÉ.

"But we have condemned it for a number of years now and it is not a question that we have not been asked before."

Ms O'Reilly, a first-time general election candidate, was branded "disgusting" for refusing to condemn the brutal killing on Saturday.

She later tweeted that she "condemn(s) it unreservedly" and claims she was "rounded on by four interviewers, two of whom are using issue for political point-scoring".

Her on-air comments had provoked a stunned reaction, with Fianna Fail Dublin Fingal candidate Lorraine Clifford-Lee calling the remarks "disgusting".

Sinn Féin's general election candidate for Limerick City, Maurice Quinlivan, also condemned the killing of Jerry McCabe yesterday.

"I have never and would never stand over attacks on members of the Defence Forces or the gardaí," he said.

"The killing of Garda McCabe was unjustifiable. I condemn it unreservedly. A grave wrong was done to the McCabe family and the IRA acknowledged that and apologised for it," he added.

Three other Sinn Féin Limerick City and County councillors - Malachy McCreesh, Lisa Marie Sheehy and Ciara McMahon - all condemned the killing when contacted last night. Cllr Séighin Ó Ceallaigh was unavailable to comment.

Irish Independent

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