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Sinn Fein candidate 'unsuitable', says son of IRA victim Stack

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Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald listens to their Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada’s address yesterday

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald listens to their Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada’s address yesterday

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald listens to their Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada’s address yesterday

The son of prison officer Brian Stack, who was murdered by the IRA, has said Sinn Fein's presidential candidate is unsuitable to represent Ireland on the international stage after she disagreed with describing IRA atrocities as terrorist attacks.

Ireland South MEP Liadh Ni Riada was unveiled yesterday as Sinn Fein's candidate.

Following the announcement, she promptly refused to take questions from the media gathered for her campaign launch.

Austin Stack's father died in hospital 18 months after he was shot in the neck by members of the Provisional IRA in 1983.

Mr Stack said the MEP's remarks about IRA atrocities and her membership of Sinn Fein made her entirely unsuitable for the role of president.

Ms Ni Riada previously caused controversy when she declined to call the IRA terrorists during an interview with Hot Press magazine.

She made headlines last year after saying she was "uncomfortable" with using the word terrorism to describe IRA atrocities such as Bloody Friday, the Warrington bomb and the Birmingham pub bombings.

Speaking last night, Mr Stack urged people to challenge Ms Ni Riada on the campaign.

"My dad was shot in the back of the head in a Dublin street," he said. "It can only be termed as terrorism. He wasn't involved in any conflict."

Mr Stack stressed that Ms Ni Riada's position and Sinn Fein's political ideology conflict with the role of president.

"If she wants to be president, she has to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces," Mr Stack said.

"Sinn Fein are opposed to the use of the Special Criminal Court in the Republic.

"She's unsuitable to represent the country on an international stage.

Challenge

"She's entitled to run, but I would call on all right-thinking people to challenge her on the hustings. I certainly have no difficulties challenging her personally."

Speaking at her campaign launch, which was attended by Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, Ms Ni Riada said she will celebrate employers who pay fair wages.

She also said she would, if necessary, use the presidential powers to address the Oireachtas, and pledged to be an "energetic president" and that she would reach out to the Irish diaspora.


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