In today’s news and EU related (again) – EU Ambassador to the US, and former Taoiseach, John Bruton, ruffled the feathers of the new SF national
Chairman Chair Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald, MEP, when, according to RTE, “Yesterday[actually, it was Thursday], Mr Bruton confirmed on US television that he believed Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA leadership, and said Sinn Féin inclusion in Government in the Republic would be ‘very, very dangerous for Ireland'”
I wasn’t able to find the actual appearance on NBC/PBS but in the middle of this report from the Washington Times the quotes to which SF seem to have taken offence can be found, and the comments were made on Thursday 3rd March, not “Yesterday” as RTE appears to believe –
And on Thursday, John Bruton, the widely respected former Taoiseach, or prime minister, of Ireland and now the first ever ambassador of the 25-nation European Union to the United States, publicly joined Ireland’s current justice minister, Michael McDowell, in accusing Adams of still sitting on the ruling Army Council of the IRA.
Bruton was asked by John McLaughlin on the highly-rated “One on One “program, carried on NBC and PBS: “Is Gerry (Adams) in the top rungs of the leadership of the IRA?” He immediately replied without any hesitancy or equivocation, “Yes.”
“We are at risk in Ireland of seeing a Sinn Fein party which is closely linked with a criminal organization,” Bruton told McLaughlin. “The IRA is … the Mafia. We are having Mafia-influence politics being introduced into the Dail, our Parliament, and they want to be in government, and they want to hold the balance of power in the Dail.
“That would be very, very dangerous for Ireland,” Bruton continued. “I think we are at a moment of great decision for the Irish people now. Are they (Sinn Fein) prepared to say paramilitarism has no place in politics?”
Ms McDonald’s full statement can be found here.