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Not hacked

Sinn Féin TD defends sarcastic tweets about 'getting instructions from Army Council'

The Meath West deputy said he was “lampooning” other politicians’ criticism of his party.

SINN FÉIN TD Peadar Tóibín has confirmed he is behind a series of tweets from his account about receiving instructions from the Provisional IRA Army Council.

The Meath West deputy said he was “lampooning” other politicians’ use of the British intelligence report into the status of the PIRA to criticise Sinn Féin.

The report found that that the structure of the PIRA still exists, although in a much-reduced form, but that Provisionals believe the Army Council still controls Sinn Féin.

Tóibín sought to make light of this and the resultant criticism of Sinn Féin in a series of tweets this afternoon:

Contacted this afternoon, Tóibín confirmed:

No, I haven’t been hacked, I was being sarcastic. You can either laugh or cry.

He said that politicians who have criticised Sinn Féin were reliant on a report written by MI5 in Britain, the same organisation which he said contributed to an ultimately false report about there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

He insisted his tweets were aimed at lampooning this and not a joke about the actions of the IRA, saying:

In no way am I making a joke about the actions of the IRA or the British Army or unionist organisations. I am simply lampooning the political use of an MI5 report.

File Pics Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toib Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

He said too much political energy was being focussed on the issue and compared it to McCarthyism of the 1950s in the US, saying: “Ask questions enough times and you might be able to get those things to stick.”

He added: “The sad thing is that the peace process was so painstakingly constructed and yet we have politically ambitious politicians taking bites out of it for their own advancement.”

Watch: Sinn Féin TD calls Micheál Martin the ‘prime gurrier’ of Leinster House

Read: ‘You could do this interview without me’: Gerry Adams had a run-in with RTÉ earlier

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