A SENIOR Sinn Féin TD has been widely criticised following a controversial tweet about the IRA.
Brian Stanley, who represents the constituency of Laois-Offaly in the Dáil, and who was appointed Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in July, took to Twitter to acknowledge the centenary of the Kilmichael Ambush, an IRA attack in Co. Cork during the War of Independence which killed 17 British soldiers.
Mr Stanley drew parallels between what happened in Kilmichael and the Warranpoint Ambush - or Narrow Water massacre, an IRA attack launched in 1979 in Co. Down which left 18 British soldiers dead.
In a tweet, he claimed that both attacks were: "IRA operations that taught the elite of the British army and the establishment the cost of occupying Ireland. Pity for everyone they were such slow learners".
Stanley has since deleted the tweet and later apologised for his "inappropriate" actions.
Though unsurprisingly the post prompted an angry response from the public, as well as a number of politicians.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney slammed the tweet, saying: "Brian Stanley is a senior Sinn Féin TD, he's the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, he should know better than this.
"Sinn Féin speak publicly and on the Dáil record all the time about the need for legacy infrastructure to deal with the past in a sensitive way in Northern Ireland, and they talk about reconciliation.
"And yet, a senior Sinn Féin person comes out with this bile on social media, which is really about division and hatred, to be honest, and this is another case unfortunately of the mask slipping."
Coveney went on to say that while many Sinn Féin members want progress and reconciliation, there are many members who clearly don't, and that such a situation was extremely unhelpful in allowing both sides to move forward.
I will be writing to the Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil about this shameful tweet. Although deleted, it is outrageous that someone with such warped views can hold a senior position in the Dáil. SF talk about respect & equality but there’s not much sign of respect for victims. pic.twitter.com/dqMdWLI4rp
— Arlene Foster #WeWillMeetAgain (@ArleneFosterUK) November 29, 2020
DUP leader and Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted: "I will be writing to the Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil about this shameful tweet.
"Although deleted it is outrageous that someone with such warped views can hold a senior position in the Dáil. SF talk about respect and equality but there's not much sign of respect for the victims."