Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said Sinn Féin should “deal” with its attempts to justify 30 years of IRA violence.
r Martin said the party had made an “ongoing attempt” to justify decades of violence and said its calls for a border poll were a “tactic”.
“For some time I have been highlighting the issues that I believe Sinn Féin needs to address. In particular, the ongoing attempt to justify the past, to justify 30 years of violence and some horrific atrocities,” he said.
“Sinn Féin will sometimes rightly identify some areas of the legacy that need redress and that need to be addressed by the UK Government.
“But she also has to deal with problems.”
Mary Lou McDonald said in recent weeks there was “no comparison” between gangland and IRA violence during the riots.
Mr Martin said there should also be more support for young people in Northern Ireland who are traumatized as a result of IRA violence.
“The trauma has afflicted the younger generation in the North, younger people whose knees have been placed on their kneecaps in so-called punitive beatings,” he said.
“If you think about the physical and emotional trauma that has afflicted many young people in the North, but no one ever hears of an attempt to reconcile or reach out or atone and say ‘that was wrong’.”
Sinn Féin party leader Mary Lou McDonald has said many times that there will be a border poll by the end of the decade.
Describing this as a political tactic, Mr Martin said he was more concerned with the “substance” of issues, such as health care and keeping the peace.
“It has more to do with tactics and the campaign that certain parties grabbed and said, ‘We have to have this within five years or else’.
“It’s a good campaign and it’s good on a certain level, but it doesn’t change much.”
Mr Martin spoke after delivering a keynote speech at the Shared Island Forum at Dublin Castle.
The government has also announced over €50 million in funding for shared island programmes, including €11 million for island-wide biodiversity measures to restore peatlands and €7.6 million for new tourism marketing initiatives across all islands.
Separately, researchers from Trinity College Dublin will study the impact of non-fatal drug overdoses on communities in north inner-city Dublin.
Researchers will develop recommendations on how to treat and prevent non-fatal drug overdoses to combat drug-related deaths in ‘real time’.
Mr Martin released a progress report on north-east Dublin city center saying the study will be completed in the spring.
“An all-too-familiar feature of downtown northeast drug use is the high rate of drug-related deaths and the resulting impact on bereaved families and the wider community.”
“Anti-stigma” training to avoid negative connotations of drug use and addiction has also been conducted in the region “so that people with drug experience can access the services they need in a fair and equitable manner”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/sinn-fein-needs-to-deal-with-ongoing-attempt-to-justify-ira-violence-says-taoiseach-micheal-martin-42196924.html Sinn Féin must grapple with an ongoing attempt to justify IRA violence, says Taoiseach Micheál Martin