Row over ‘perfect’ IRA bomb comment

Doug Beattie of the UUP.
Doug Beattie of the UUP.

Doug Beattie of the UUP has called on Sinn Fein to clarify if they are prepared to distance themselves from a party supporter who described an IRA bomb in Manchester as “perfect”.

Aaron MacDaibheid, whose Twitter profile describes him as a republican, a socialist and a Sinn Fein member, posted a tweet lauding the 1996 blast as the “perfect” IRA operation.

More than 200 people were injured, many seriously, when a massive 3,000lb device in a lorry exploded on June 15.

During a Twitter exchange on Thursday night, Mr MacDaibheid posted the message: “Bombs in Britain gave the republican movement the strongest hand with which to go to the negotiating table. That bomb was a perfect op imo (in my opinion).”

Mr Beattie, the Ulster Unionist general election candidate for Upper Bann, said: “This is a shocking statement from a Sinn Fein member. Surely they must distance themselves from it & him.”

Sinn Fein has not yet responded to a request for comment.