Nigel Dodds criticises motion from Sinn Fein that laments toll on civilian life and property from Israeli bombs

​A DUP peer has rounded upon Sinn Fein for bringing forward a motion lamenting Israel’s bombing campaign against Gaza, and calling for an international criminal investigation into it.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Lord Dodds’ criticised the “hypocrisy” of the motion given the history of the republican movement.

That motion, and a second one demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, were both debated in the Dail on Wednesday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There were bad-tempered scenes on the floor of the Dublin parliament as an independent TD clashed with Sinn Fein, requiring the chairman to intervene at one point.

Photo posted online by UNRWA of destruction in Gaza, November 10, 2023Photo posted online by UNRWA of destruction in Gaza, November 10, 2023
Photo posted online by UNRWA of destruction in Gaza, November 10, 2023

Specifically, the Sinn Fein motion under discussion asked the Dail to say that it “condemns and deplores the escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory since 7th October, particularly the killing of innocent men, women and children, the taking hostage and imprisonment of civilians, the targeting of civilian infrastructure and the mass forced displacement of civilians”.

(A vote on it is due late on Wednesday night.)

Lord Dodds, who survived an IRA assassination attempt while visiting his young son at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, said that “they talk about attacks on hospitals, when the republican movement regularly attacked hospitals and people within Northern Ireland”.

"These weren't just isolated incidents,” he added.

"This was 30 years or more of a systematic strategy of carrying out these types of attacks against innocent civilians and civilian populations, and duly appointed legal entities like the police and so on.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said that it is “rank hypocrisy of the greatest order” to propose such a motion whilst its leaders defend the IRA’s campaign.

"I think it does grave damage to the entire political process to have people who are supposed to be the next government - or could be the next government - of the Irish Republic going around behaving like this,” he said.

"It's just absolutely scandalous. I think the Irish people, it's not for me to dictate to them, but maybe they'll get their eyes opened to what the reality of their future government could look like.”

In 2020, Mrs McDonald was quoted in the Sunday Independent as saying of the IRA campaign: “I wish it hadn’t happened, but it was a justified campaign.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She later went on to clarify: “I made the simple point that any person faced with that scenario might have become embroiled in it and might have volunteered with the IRA.

“It was justified to take on the British state… I’m not justifying every action at all and I absolutely understand the horror and pain that was visited on people.”

In 2022, Michelle O’Neill said of the IRA’s “violent resistance to British rule” that “I think at the time there was no alternative, but now thankfully we have an alternative”.

Friction emerged today between independent TD Mattie McGrath, a socially-conservative former Fianna Fail man, and Matt Carty on the Sinn Fein benches.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When Mr McGrath came to address the house, he said the Sinn Fein motion was mere “posturing” and attacked Hamas for allegedly secreting itself in Gazan hospitals, prompting interruption from the Sinn Fein benches.

At one point, Mr McGrath suggested Sinn Fein should send its own “SWAT teams” into the war zone to investigate, saying the party “has been good at the heavy-handed stuff” as the chairman struggled to restore order.