Sunday 22 July 2018

Mary Lou worships a past that's not hers

The new Sinn Fein leader is trying to rewrite history to paint Martin McGuinness as a victim, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

New SF leader Mary Lou McDonald who signed off her inaugural leader’s speech with the slogan “Tiocfaidh ar la” refuses to break from the past, criticising Miriam O’Callaghan’s 2011 TV debate with Martin McGuinness
New SF leader Mary Lou McDonald who signed off her inaugural leader’s speech with the slogan “Tiocfaidh ar la” refuses to break from the past, criticising Miriam O’Callaghan’s 2011 TV debate with Martin McGuinness

Eilis O'Hanlon

Any hope that Mary Lou McDonald might begin her leadership of Sinn Fein by making a decisive break with the past were shattered when she ended her inaugural speech to the ard fheis which rubber-stamped her coronation with the old Provo slogan "Tiocfaidh ar la".

This was not seeking to atone for the republican movement's historic crimes so much as wallowing in them, in the hope that the stench will cling to her so thoroughly that no one will ever notice this is a borrowed perfume rather than one she's worn all her life.

Now comes the publication of statements which McDonald has given to the author of a new book about Martin McGuinness, published on the first anniversary of the former deputy first minister's death, in which the new SF head chose to revisit his 2011 campaign to become president of what Mary Lou calls, with all the dismissiveness of a born and bred Bogsider rather than a cosseted Trinity College graduate, the "southern state".

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