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Stan by your man Vincent Browne accuses Mary Lou McDonald of not supporting Brian Stanley over tweets

Mr Browne was referring to a tweet by the Sinn Fein TD about two IRA attacks on the British Army that caused outrage.

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Vincent Browne

Vincent Browne

Vincent Browne

FORMER broadcaster Vincent Browne has accused Mary Lou McDonald of not standing by Brian Stanley following his controversial tweet about the Troubles.

In a tweet posted earlier today, the outspoken journalist wrote: ‘Mary Lou McDonald said in a SINDO (Sunday Independent) interview that the IRA campaign in NI was justified. Why then does she no(t) stand by Brian Stanley when he implicitly applauds two IRA atrocities?’

Mr Browne was referring to a tweet by the Sinn Fein TD about two IRA attacks on the British Army that caused outrage.

In a message posted on the centenary of the Kilmichael ambush in 1920, Stanley wrote: “Kilmicheal (sic) (1920) and Narrow Water (1979) the 2 IRA operations that taught the elective of (the) British army and the establishment the cost of occupying Ireland. Pity for everyone they were such slow learners.’

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Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley

In a statement the following day, Stanley apologised “for the content of an inappropriate and insensitive tweet that I sent”.

However, less than 24 hours after apologising for the tweet that praised IRA attacks on British soldiers, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman was forced to defend himself against alleged homophobia in a tweet posted on the day Leo Varadkar became Fine Gael leader in 2017.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald later asked the Laois-Offaly TD Brian Stanley to take a week off amid escalating political controversy over his social media activities.

Ms McDonald also said Mr Stanley had written to Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl requesting time to make a personal statement to the Dáil on December 15.

“At my request, Mr Stanley will take next week to be with his family, for whom this period of public controversy has proven very difficult,” said Ms McDonald.

In May of this year, Ms McDonald described the IRA's campaign as "justified" and said there was "every chance" she would have taken up arms during the Troubles.

Ms McDonald also defended her attendance at events commemorating those involved in IRA violence.

"I wish it hadn't happened, but it was a justified campaign," she told the Sunday Independent.

"It was inevitable; it was utterly inevitable and anybody with even a passing sense of Irish history could have predicted it surely as night followed day."

Mr Browne’s tweet has created vigorous debate on social media with users taking both sides.

"Would love to hear whether she and her voters support the Enniskillen bombing. Many killed. Innocently and without warning. What is her position and do her voters share that view?" one person tweeted in response.

Another added: "I’m a SF voter and I can tell you that I and anyone I know do not support the bombing of Enniskillen."

‘Kilmichael was a mandated action of the legitimate army of the Dáil, Warrenpoint had no such mandate,"; argued one other.

"Those loyal to the 1919 constitution rejected the southern state - most still do - and being loyal to the First Dáil they operate from that mandate, whether or not others agree with that position, that’s the legal position from the Republican side," added another.

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