MICHAEL O’REGAN
Irish Times
29 Apr 2012

Fianna Fáil Micheal Martin leader today launched a strongly-worded attack on Sinn Féin and its role in the Troubles.

Mr Martin said he was glad Sinn Féin had, at last, recognised that the Irish people would make their decisions based solely on the ballot box and not the Armalite.

“But it took them too long to realise this and it caused immense human suffering,” he added. “In contrast, we in this true republican movement can be proud of the role Fianna Fáil played in espousing peace and unity.”

Speaking today at Fianna Fáil’s annual 1916 commemoration in Arbour Hill, in Dublin, Mr Martin said the search for the bodies of the Disappeared in the Northern conflict was deservedly well known and well supported. However, he said it was also just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Provisional IRA “barbarity”.

“Just today, for example, 29th April, there are seven families mourning the anniversary of a loved one cut down in their prime by those claiming a link with the patriots buried here,” he added.

Mr Martin said it was incorrect and historically dishonest to equate in any way the heroes who fought for Ireland freedom in 1916, and in the subsequent War of Independence, with the actions of the Provisional IRA.

He said the terrorist campaign waged in the North was not a clean fight.

“It was dirty and nasty,” Mr Martin added. “It cost thousands of lives and did untold damage.”

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