Statement by TUV Newry and Armagh representative Keith Ratcliffe:
“A short time ago the leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland stood with other political leaders to condemn the attempted murder of a police officer in Omagh. Yesterday Republican grandees assembled in Dublin to pay tribute to a terrorist.
“Let’s not forget that Rita O’Hare fled Northern Ireland after being arrested and bailed in connection with the attempted murder of a solider. She later served time for her involvement in a bid to smuggle arms for the IRA.
“Yet yesterday she was lauded not just for what she herself did but as “an inheritor of a great tradition” who passed “the torch to the next generation” by the leader of Sinn Fein.
“If involvement in the murderous campaign of the Provos means that one was part of a “great tradition” and if smuggling guns for terrorists mean you passed “the torch to the next generation” is it really any wonder that the blight of Republican violence remains with us to this day?
“One cannot condemn murderous activity one week and eulogise it the next.
“The events we witnessed in Dublin yesterday feed Republican violence in the present and are also a reminder that Sinn Fein remain unfit for government.“