Friday 20 April 2018

Sinn Fein glorifying atrocities of IRA, says Micheal Martin

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

FIANNA Fail leader Micheal Martin has accused Sinn Fein of glorifying IRA atrocities.

Mr Martin also said Taoiseach Enda Kenny is ignoring serious problems in the North.

Speaking at his party's annual Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown, Co Kildare, Mr Martin said Sinn Fein was consistently "playing politics and putting their party interest first".

He said Gerry Adams' party refused to acknowledge the logic of the peace process that the IRA campaign was wrong.

"Today they sell T-shirts and mugs with 'IRA undefeated army' on them. They glorify the Provisional's campaign, including some of the worst atrocities. They are trying to have it both ways of demanding to be treated just like any party but refusing to be open about their past or apologise for it.

"What is actively dangerous about this is what it says to others that might be foolish enough to want to keep their tradition going. How can they stand against the Real IRA and other groups if they keep asserting the legitimacy of the Provisional's campaign?

"How can they condemn those who present themselves as inheritors of the mantle of revolutionary republicanism if they honour a group which was rejected time and again by the Irish people?" he said.

Peace

Mr Martin said peace was not something to be taken for granted and it must be built upon.

"The idea that seems to have seeped into Government Buildings -- that 'the North's sorted' -- is extremely short-sighted. Equally, the unity of people on this island in one state remains the aspiration of the majority of the Irish people and it is the duty of our Government to work for it with real commitment," he said.

Mr Martin characterised Mr Kenny's attitude to cross-border matters as one of disengagement and complacency.

"Unfortunately, too many people today think that the work is over -- that we can take for granted what has been achieved," he said.

"This could be a mistake of historic proportions. The Irish Government has dramatically reduced its level of engagement with northern affairs.

"Given the effort that went into this process over a very long time by very many people, this sort of disengagement and complacency by our own Government is unacceptable," he said.

Irish Independent

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