McDonnell apologises for IRA comment

The Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell has just made an appearance on Question Time (Due to air at 11.15pm in NI).

During the exchange comments he made  in 2003 about the IRA came up which he attempted to put in the context of being a time when it looked like the peace process was in trouble.

He went further explaining that his comments were wrong, telling the audience;

What I tried to do for both sides is to give them a way out with some form of dignity otherwise they wouldn’t lay their arms down.

And can I just say this, because this has been raised with me time and time again – I accept it was a mistake to use those words, but actually if it contributed towards saving one life, or preventing someone else being maimed it was worth doing, because we did hold on to the peace process.

There was a real risk of the republican movement splitting and some of them continuing the armed process. If I gave offence, and I clearly have, from the bottom of my heart I apologise, I apologise.

Yesterday at PMQs, Nigel Dodds asked about the appointment of McDonnell


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs