SF Easter Rising claims a cynical lie: Fianna Fail

Micheal Martin accused Sinn Fein of dishonouring the 1916 Republic of Ireland proclamation
Micheal Martin accused Sinn Fein of dishonouring the 1916 Republic of Ireland proclamation
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  • SF aggressively promoting false connection to 1916, says FF leader
  • All part of bid to claim legitimacy for sectarian murder
  • Gerry Adams dismisses “hysterical rant”

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has issued a blistering attack on Sinn Fein’s legitimacy as a democratic party – and accused it of trying to illegitimately claim forthcoming Easter Rising commemorations for its own ends.

Speaking at the Annual 1916 Commemoration at Arbous Hill in Dublin yesterday, Mr Martin accused Sinn Fein of dishonouring the 1916 Republic of Ireland proclamation, providing rhetorical cover for ongoing dissident terrorism and of ongoing protection of child abusers.

Provisionals no longer engaged in murder, but refuse to acknowledge they were always wrong

Micheal Martin

“The political party which carries the name Sinn Fein has aggressively been promoting the false claim that they have some connection to 1916 and to the volunteers who fought then,” he said.

“This is part of their wider agenda of trying to falsify recent Irish history and claim legitimacy for the sectarian campaign of murder and intimidation which they carried out for 30 years.

“Provisional Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA have no connection with 1916. To claim otherwise is a dangerous and cynical lie.”

Unlike modern Sinn Fein, he said, the men and women of the 1916 rising went on to “commit themselves to achieving national objectives in new ways”.

If justification for the PIRA campaign is that they had a right to ignore the opposition of the Irish people to terrorism then “why can’t the dissidents of today claim the same legitimacy the Provisionals claim?” he asked. “This goes to the heart of why Sinn Fein remains unfit for participation in a democratic republican government.”

The Provisional movement is no longer engaged in murder, he said, “but what they have refused to do is acknowledge that they were always wrong ... they killed servants of this republic and worked to destroy its institutions”.

The ongoing Sinn Fein descriptions of the IRA murder of Jean McConville as “a legitimate act of war shows that Provisional Sinn Fein has contempt for the settled and repeatedly expressed view of the Irish people that it was no legitimate war”.

Even “clean new faces” in Sinn Fein maintain the attitude that they can stand “judge and jury over everyone” he said; last week deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald’s used of parliamentary privilege to accuse several named politicians of financial impropriety even though Gardai and regulators had already failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing.

Mr Martin said that “the covering up of [child] abuse, the protection of [IRA] abusers from legal and public justice continued well after the ceasefires and happened on both sides of the border. It is also something which the leader and deputy leader of Sinn Fein have confirmed they knew about. We cannot and we must not let these people succeed in their campaign to claim the mantle of republicanism.”

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams TD responded that “the electorate will decide” if his party is fit for government.

“Sinn Féin has a mandate in both parts of this island,” he said. “That is what drives the hysterical rant by Mícheál Martin about Sinn Féin at Arbour Hill today.

“His remarks are a clear sign of desperation at the growth of Sinn Féin and the stagnation of his own party.”

Mr Martin was a central figure in the Fianna Fáil administration which “destroyed” the economy, he added.

Morning View — Fianna Fail reaping what it helped to sow

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams TD responded that “the electorate will decide” if his party is fit for government.

“Sinn Féin has a mandate in both parts of this island,” he said. “That is what drives the hysterical rant by Mícheál Martin about Sinn Féin at Arbour Hill today.

“His remarks are a clear sign of desperation at the growth of Sinn Féin and the stagnation of his own party.”

Mr Martin was a central figure in the Fianna Fáil administration which “destroyed” the economy, he added.

Sinn Féin’s candidate for the Dublin Bay South constituency at the next general election, councillor Chris Andrews, said Mr Martin’s comments “do not mask the reality that the party no longer represents the Republican ideals or values of its founders”.