| 7°C Dublin

door step Sinn Féin TD admits calling to party members’ homes when he disagreed with social media posts

Close

Mr Browne revealed that he has called to party members’ homes when he has disagreed with their social media posts

Mr Browne revealed that he has called to party members’ homes when he has disagreed with their social media posts

Mr Browne revealed that he has called to party members’ homes when he has disagreed with their social media posts

A Sinn Féin TD has admitted to calling to party members’ homes when he has disagreed with their social media posts.

Martin Browne also said that Sinn Féin needs to stop apologising for its “core belief” that Provisional IRA attacks were a continuation of the War of Independence.

The Tipperary TD has strongly defended the content of his Dáil colleague Brian Stanley’s controversial IRA tweet, which has led to calls for him to step aside as Public Accounts Committee chair.

Speaking on Tipp Today with Fran Curry on TippFM, Mr Browne revealed that he has called to party members’ homes when he has disagreed with their social media posts. It comes after a young Sinn Féin activist, Christine O’Mahony, criticised a member who called to her home last week asking her to remove critical tweets. She has since quit the party.

Asked if he would call around to a party member’s homes if he did not like their social media content, Mr Browne said: “I would and have done down through the years. I have been chairman of my own cumann in Cashel.”

He said that the controversy about the visit to Ms O’Mahony’s home had been “taken out of context” but that he accepted that she “maybe felt intimidated and it was wrong”.

“This was a next-door neighbour, three doors down. It wasn’t as Leo Varadkar and them are trying to paint it, as this heavy unknown,” he said.

Ms O’Mahony had “taken it up in a different context” and she was “entitled to her opinion”, Mr Browne said.

Mr Browne said that since he became involved with Sinn Féin in 1980 he had gone to members’ doors “to have discussions” about the party, saying: “It was me going to another party member and having a discussion, whether it was a disagreement or an agreement or something or trying to come to a consensus or something. I would never have even think of it as being intimidatory.”

Mr Browne said that Mr Stanley’s apology over a controversial tweet linking the IRA attack at Kilmichael, in which 17 Auxiliaries died, during the War of Independence and the Provisional IRA ambush at Narrow Water in 1979, which killed 18 British soldiers “was [for] the upset some people had, the core beliefs are the same”.

Mr Stanley wrote in his now-deleted tweet that the two attacks had “taught the elite of [the] British army and the establishment the cost of occupying Ireland. Pity for everyone they were such slow learners”.

Mr Browne said that “apologies – in my own personal view – they should stop”.

He continued: “It’s history and people need to learn their history. Brian apologised, like I said...

“He has gone away to have a week with his family, out of the limelight, and will be back as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from next week on.”

Mr Browne said it was his “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”.

He continued: “I’ve yet to meet anybody that would have a discussion with me about conflict to say that these atrocities and acts don’t happen. In any conflict around the world that you read about or hear about, there is conflict and there is atrocities carried out and that’s part of our history.”

Mr Browne said that Mr Stanley had the support of the party and that he is “one of the least offensive fellas you will ever come across in your life”.

He added: “He has his beliefs and they would be the same as mine. We had a conflict in the North and things happened on both sides – let’s not try and paint one side any worse than the other. There is no one side worse than the other.

“We had an occupied country – a foreign force there. It doesn’t matter whether it was in the ‘20s, ‘50s, '70s or '80s, it was the same aim – to free our country from an occupying force.”

Mr Browne said the “aim of conflict” in any circumstance is “you strike before they strike you”.

Mr Stanley is due to address the Dáil next Tuesday about the tweet as well as another post from 2017 which referenced Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s sexuality. Mr Browne told Tipp FM that this tweet had been “tied into homophobia” and that he could guarantee that Mr Stanley was “anything but that”.

Online Editors


Privacy