Category: Archive

Sinn Fein refutes minister’s charge of IRA membership

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

As June’s local and European elections come closer, the gloves are likely to be thrown aside as republicans battle to continue their upward electoral curve in the South, as they have already done in the North.
McDowell, basing his claims on unspecified briefings from his own department and from the gardai, claimed there was still a dual membership between the IRA army council and the Sinn Fein leadership.
He also compared Sinn Fein to the Nazis and claimed an unnamed former Belfast member of the party was involved in criminal activity in Dublin’s docklands.
McDowell, in his regular column in a Dublin Sunday newspaper, likened Sinn Fein’s relationship with the IRA to that of the Nazis and the Brownshirts in 1930s Germany.
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator, said on Monday that McDowell must “put up or shut up,” accusing him of being “anti-working class” and “anti-republican.”
“It’s all very well to make accusations, but it is a whole other thing to substantiate those allegations,” he said. “I think Michael McDowell needs to remember that he is the minister for justice. He is not the minister for judges and he is certainly not the minister for juries.”
McGuinness said it was “electioneering by a desperate, ignorant and irrational politician” and that Sinn Fein was going to give the political establishment in the Republic “the shock of its life” in the June polls.
In recent weeks, McDowell has strongly criticized Sinn Fein over what he suggested are the party’s double standards. He said on Monday that Sinn Fein must choose between violence and democracy.
“They have a choice now, as to whether they embrace violence and paramilitarism, or make the final choice for democratic means alone,” he said.
“You and I are not to be fairly expected to look at all those links and say they mean nothing. It’s just like the Nazis and the Brownshirts — looking at them and saying they are two separate organizations and saying there’s no connection — there’s a very close connection.”

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