IRELAND’S Minister of State has courted controversy and criticism after comparing Boris Johnson to Oliver Cromwell.
Michael D’Arcy made the comments in a since-deleted tweet in which he suggested the UK Prime Minister’s decision to suspend parliament was "perhaps the most anti-democratic decision since the Protectorate government, which Oliver Cromwell set up, was established".
“This was a military dictatorship, Cromwell dismissed his parliament when they disagreed with him,” he wrote.
An English military and political leader, Cromwell served Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland during the 1600s.
He remains a highly contentious historical figure, having infamously enacted a series of brutal military dictates that led to the deaths of countless innocent Irish civilians.
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern once famously insisted that the portrait of be taken down from a room in Westminster before he began talks with British prime minister Tony Blair, describing him Cromwell “that murdering bastard”.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, D’Arcy was asked to remove the tweet by the Taoiseach’s Office.
The comments have been viewed with dismay among other Irish politicians, some of whom appear disappointed at D'Arcy for seemingly breaking ranks.
Speaking to the news provider, Ireland Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee insisted D’Arcy’s comments were “not reflecting Government policy thugh she added that they “reflected” a “frustration that many people have here”.
“The fact again we are seeing changes in the UK while throughout all of this we have tried to remain consistent and calm…but this is not Government policy and my understanding is that the tweet was removed,” she said.