Sinn Fein rejects 'double standards' claims after condemning Manchester attack

Sinn Fein
Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein has rejected claims of hypocrisy over its condemnation of the Manchester attack.

Critics have accused the republican party of double standards given the IRA detonated bombs in the same city during the Troubles.

A huge Provisional IRA truck bomb devastated parts of Manchester city centre in 1996.

Some have contrasted that incident with the sight of Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill signing a book of condolences in Belfast this week for the victims of Monday's suicide blast.

Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy said those levelling criticism at his party were playing "political games".

"I think some people are trying to play political games and they shouldn't," he said.

"What happened in Manchester was an absolute tragedy, it was an atrocity, it was a scandal."

Mr Carthy said he was from the generation that had benefited most from the Northern Ireland peace process.

"What we would say to all political parties is stop playing political games with things like this," he added.

"Let's actually send our solidarity to the people of Manchester and let's work together on this island to ensure we never have to revisit some of the darker days of the past."