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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Sam Boal/ Mary Lou McDonald
# tough talking
Mary Lou: Sinn Féin ain't going away, you know
The party’s deputy leader has hit out at attempts to “smear this proud Republican Party and our leader”.

MARY LOU MCDONALD has said that other parties need to adjust to current political realities in her first public comments on the controversy surrounding the status of the Provisional IRA.

The Sinn Féin deputy leader took to Facebook earlier this week to suggest that there could be a poll bounce for her party in the wake of the criticism it has faced about links to the PIRA.

A controversy has erupted on both sides of the border since statements made by PSNI Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes last week regarding the possible involvement of PIRA members in the murder of ex-IRA prisoner Kevin McGuigan.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has asked the Garda Commissioner to provide a fresh assessment of the status of the Provisional IRA, while strongly criticising Sinn Féin and its leader Gerry Adams.

Senior Sinn Féin politicians, including Pearse Doherty this morning, have consistently said that the IRA is gone and no longer in existence, while other opposition and government politicians insist otherwise.

Echoing her Sinn Féin colleagues, McDonald suggested that the criticism of her party and Adams has been politically motivated.

In Facebook post on Tuesday, McDonald said: “Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that any time there is a bounce in support for Sinn Féin the usual suspects and their cohorts in the media get together to hatch a plan to smear this proud Republican Party and our leader? Do they ever learn?

They need to adjust to the new political realities of today. Sinn Féin ain’t going away, you know!

The comments are a nod to Gerry Adams’s infamous remark about the IRA in 1995 when he said at a Belfast rally that “they haven’t gone away you know”.

The results of a Red C poll on current support for political parties is due to be published in the Sunday Business Post this weekend.

Read: The Garda Commissioner has weighed in on the existence of the IRA

Gerry Adams: ‘Sinn Féin has no special responsibility to respond to allegations about the IRA’

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