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TD Martin Brown Defends Tweets Posted By Brian Stanley

An Tanaiste Mr Leo Varadkar has demanded a statement from Sinn Féin party leader Ms Mary Lou McDonald, after one of her colleagues, Tipperary TD Mr Martin Browne, defended inappropriate and insensitive tweets posted by Laois–Offaly TD Mr Brian Stanley.

Tipperary TD Mr Martin Browne. Photo: Oireachtas.ie

Mr Stanley had tweeted on the centenary of the Kilmichael ambush, [latter which took place on November 28th 1920] that the Narrow Water Castle killings on August 27th 1979, by the IRA’s South Armagh Brigade, outside Warrenpoint in Co. Down, were two attacks where IRA operations taught the elite of the British army and the establishment, the cost of occupying Ireland. Mr Stanley (Current Chairperson of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee) added: “Pity for everyone they were such slow learners”.

Mr Stanley later said that he had deleted what he admitted was an “inappropriate and insensitive” tweet.

However Tipperary’s Mr Martin Browne defended Mr Stanley’s tweet, insisting that his party should not have to apologise for statements that reflect the ‘core beliefs’ of Sinn Féin members.

The Tipperary TD went on to state that apologies for core beliefs in his personal view, should stop. ‘It is my core belief that we have been occupied for 800 years in this country and at all stages down through our history there has been conflict.’

Mr Varadkar stated, “I don’t doubt he (Mr Martin Browne) believes this. But every time a Sinn Féin TD glorifies violence, it makes a united Ireland harder to achieve. Killing kids, bombing pubs & shops was never justified. Not in our name. We need a statement from Mary Lou McDonald on whether she agrees. We fought too hard to secure peace on our island to risk falling backwards. We must stand up to those who would glorify violence again”.

Mr Browne, [who during the visit of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II to Co. Tipperary in 2011, led a very small Sinn Fein nuisance protest in Cashel, objecting to her visit], admitted he had also called to the homes of Sinn Féin party supporters, whom he felt had published negative comments about the internal workings of the Sinn Féin party, online.

The Tipperary TD Mr Browne, who is Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Public Petitions, and which met for the first time yesterday to discuss its work programme, was asked by Fine Gael members Mr Brendan Griffin TD and Mr Eoghan Murphy TD to clarify his recent comments made earlier on radio to which Mr Browne refused. The meeting was later posponed.

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