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Sinn Fein's McDonald evades question over 'Slab' Murphy

By Niall O'Connor

Published 05/02/2016

Tightlipped: Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald
Tightlipped: Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has refused to stand over her claim that Thomas 'Slab' Murphy was a "good republican" in a move that will heap pressure on her party leader Gerry Adams.

But Ms McDonald yesterday finally confirmed that her party manifesto will commit to the abolition of Dublin's non-jury Special Criminal Court.

For the third consecutive day Sinn Fein leaders have been challenged over their relationship with Murphy, who was described as a "mass murderer" on a BBC Spotlight documentary this week.

The programme broadcast an interview with a British soldier who alleged that Murphy committed and ordered murders on behalf of the IRA.

Murphy is a former IRA leader and faces up to five years in prison for tax fraud.

At a Press conference in Dublin, Ms McDonald repeatedly declined to stand over her and Mr Adams's claim that Murphy was a "good republican".

"I have told you that Tom Murphy, like everybody else, is accountable to the courts," the Dublin Central TD said.

"Tom Murphy, like everybody else, has to pay their taxes. That is the position. The courts will deal with that matter. And I have nothing further to say on it."

Asked earlier whether she was comfortable that Murphy was described as a "mass murderer" by a soldier who served in Northern Ireland, Ms McDonald replied: "This issue has arisen many times. I'll put on the record what I have said before and that is every citizen is absolutely obliged to pay their taxes.

"There are exemptions, there are no ifs, buts and maybes on that score. And on the issues pertaining to Tom Murphy, the courts will decide that.

"I understand that it's up for consideration on Friday, so that's a matter for the courts."

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