Mary Lou McDonald has ‘no problem’ as Sinn Fein chief apologizes for IRA killings
Mary Lou McDonald said she had “no problem” as head of Sinn Fein in expressing grief and apologizing for the pain suffered as a result of the IRA killings.
Ms McDonald hit back at Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, who said in a recent interview that he wanted Sinn Fein to apologize for the IRA’s killing of children and civilians.
When Mr Varadkar’s comments were presented to Ms McDonald and pointed out that there seemed to be a reluctance to apologize, she said: “The IRA apologized 20 years ago.
“There is no problem in recognizing the suffering.
“I have no problem as leader of Sinn Fein and as a Republican expressing deep sadness and apologies for the pain suffered, none.
“I think it’s the decent thing to do.
“The past is complicated, it’s difficult and it’s the past.
“The war is over. Here we go, it’s done.
“Yes, we need to sort out the legacy issues, but if you keep looking for the past you need to ask yourself questions about your commitment to building the future. “
Mr Varadkar said it “disgusts” him that Sinn Fein always celebrates those who have committed crimes throughout the unrest.
Ms McDonald said “it’s a matter of balance” when commemorating the IRA hunger strikers who also murdered people.
Sinn Fein came under criticism recently after paying tribute to hunger striker Thomas McElwee in which they described him as “kind and good-humored”, but failed to acknowledge that he was responsible for the murder of a young mother, Yvonne Dunlop, in a firebomb.
When this scenario was offered to Ms McDonald, she told the Irish Mirror: “I just think it’s a matter of balance.
“I don’t think there are perfect or straightforward answers.
“There is no smart answer to the pain people have suffered, nor are Republicans wearing an Easter lily as a symbol and we wear it with pride because we are proud of the generations of Republicans who have. fought for Irish freedom.
“For another part of the people it is considered provocative or hurtful, but also those who wear the poppy to remember, they wear it with pride but with many people it is a cause of hurt and offense. , so it’s a question that I think about balancing these things out and most importantly, not trying to play more with the victims.
“And what I mean by that is not to use the past or the victims like political football to face your opponent.”
She said she expects the UK government to pass amnesty legislation soon that Sinn Fein does not support.
She said: ‘We don’t want amnesty and we know that the families who have suffered at the hands of British soldiers and state collusion and have waited decades for investigations for this basic process can no longer be left out. “
Mr. Varadkar continues to attack Sinn Fein over the past for “desperately” trying to distract from government failures, Ms. McDonald says.
She said it was “so interesting” that she received a letter from Prince Charles when she was sick with Covid-19 but yet the head of Fine Gael “seeks to score a political advantage with the question of the past “.
She said: “When I heard Leo Varadkar speak, I heard a man under a lot of pressure who has clearly had a difficult year and is desperate for something, anything in fact to distract from. their blatant and abject failure in government.
” That’s what it’s about.
“Isn’t it so interesting that Leo Varadkar is looking to gain a political advantage with the question of the past, but you can still engage with the man who will in all likelihood be the next British King and the tone is completely different because the truth is that peace has to work.
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