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Sniper badges and Thatcher T-shirts on sale

IRA merchandise was for sale in the Sinn Fein shop at the ard fheis, writes Michael Brennan.

There were 'Sniper at Work' badges, plaques with the 'Tiocfaidh Ar La' IRA slogan and glass mementos of the eight IRA members shot dead by the SAS in the Loughgall Ambush in Tyrone in 1987.

And a new addition was green-coloured Margaret Thatcher T-shirts saying 'as Gaeilge', "I still hate Margaret Thatcher".

There is no doubt that feelings against Mrs Thatcher run deep. There were displays at the Ard Fheis featuring each of the 10 IRA members who died during the hunger strikes while she was in charge.

So Sinn Fein is playing to its base – but is damaging its chances of attracting new voters who are turned off by 'Brits out'-style rhetoric.

Irish Independent