Tuesday 20 August 2019

Mary Lou McDonald refuses to distance herself from IRA atrocities

Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Tom Burke
Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Tom Burke

Kevin Doyle and Cormac McQuinn

SINN Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has refused to distance herself from the atrocities of the IRA and said she’s “proud” of her party.

Her remarks came after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin earlier ruled out a future government deal with Sinn Féin even after Gerry Adams departs as leader.

Ms McDonald and Pearse Doherty – Mr Adams’ likely successors - have refused “to disassociate themselves from the worst atrocities of the IRA,” Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said.

Responding to Mr Martin’s comments ahead of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, Ms McDonald said she’s an “Irish Republican” and said Fianna Fáil have never disassociated themselves from War of Independence era IRA members Dan Breen or Seán Treacy.

She added: “No party disassociates themselves from who they are and where they come from. “I'm very proud of who we are.

“I'm also very conscious of people coming out of conflict and the hurt that was done over the last decades of conflict.

“I don't discount that for a moment. And Micheál Martin knows that,” she added.

She said Sinn Féin has established “a peaceful, democratic path for us to co-exist politically right across Ireland and for us to pursue our political objectives and that is what we are about.

“I have no intention of re-fighting the war of a hundred years or the last 40 years with Micheál Martin or anybody else,” she added.

In relation to Mr Martin ruling out a government deal with Sinn Féin Ms McDonald said it was “extremely arrogant” for him or anyone else to put themselves in the position of decision maker on who will be in government.

She said the two factors that decide that are a sufficient mandate from the people and a deliverable programme for government.

Sinn Féin chiefs are expected to sign-off on a major policy shift tonight that would open the door to them entering government in the Republic as a junior coalition partner.

Until now the party has insisted it would only be in government if it was the largest party.

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