Former IRA man condemned for ‘see you later alligator’ jibe at Foster

Sean Lynch at the election count in Omagh on Friday
Sean Lynch at the election count in Omagh on Friday

Convicted IRA man Sean Lynch’s “see you later alligator” quip towards DUP leader Arlene Foster, made following his election as an MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, has been described as “petty”.

UUP MP Tom Elliott said that while the remark was not surprising, Mr Lynch is “one of the last who should be talking about such things”, given his background.

Mr Lynch, a former IRA commander, was captured by the SAS in 1986 while trying to blow up members of the security forces in a failed ambush attack near Rosslea.

He was seriously wounded and spent several months in hospital.

In December that year he was convicted and given a 25-year prison sentence but was granted early release in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

A man later described by Mr Lynch as his “friend and comrade”, Seamus McElwaine, was shot dead by the SAS in the failed ambush.

Mr McElwaine has been named by Arlene Foster as the man she believes tried to kill her father.

As Mrs Foster left the stage during the election count for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency, she was taunted by Mr Lynch who said “see you later alligator” – a reference to her now infamous remark about “not feeding the crocodile”.

Mr Elliott said: “It doesn’t surprise me that he would come out with such stuff. It’s fairly petty stuff and I think he’s one of the last who should be talking about such things.

“He was caught up in an incident with Mr McElwaine and planting a bomb for people to be killed. I don’t think it requires much explanation.”