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SNP aide Allan Casey warned over pro-IRA views passes vetting process for Glasgow council election

By Claire Williamson

An SNP aide who wrote pro-IRA messages on social media has passed his party's vetting process to potentially stand for election in Scotland, it has been reported.

Allan Casey received a warning after he wrote "Up the Provos" and was found to have praised former IRA members on his Facebook page.

The comments were made a number of years ago before he joined the SNP, the party said. Mr Casey has since deleted them and acknowledged they were in poor taste.

Mr Casey is a parliamentary assistant to Glasgow Provan MSP Ivan McKee.

Mr Casey's hardline views on the Troubles were revealed last year by the Sunday Herald which also revealed his Facebook account posts.

In April 2012 he wrote:  “Volunteer martin Doherty rfb no1 real pride of govan, up the provos – sinn fein abu.” [sic]

Martin Doherty was an IRA volunteer shot and killed in 1994 by the UVF.

That month he highlighted an event that included a set by the Republican Flute Band which he was linked to.

Ahead of that he wrote about IRA volunteers Henry Hogan and Declan Martin.

He said: "Killed on active service 28 years ago today while engaging in a gun battle with undercover SAS scum.”

“Your deeds would shame all the devils in hell – f**k the brits, remember bloody Sunday 30th January 1972.”

An SNP spokesman said, after they were alerted to the messages: “The posts in question are from several years before Mr Casey joined the SNP or worked for any parliamentarians.

“Mr Casey acknowledges that these posts were in extremely poor taste and has deleted them. His employer has reminded him of the high standards expected of staff. Mr Casey has been warned about his behaviour and understands that any repeat would be unacceptable."

The Herald reported on Sunday that Mr Casey may be part of the SNP’s team of candidates for the Glasgow council election.

It said he had passed the vetting process and has been nominated by a party branch and could make the ballot paper.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “Comments of this nature have no place in political discourse, and it raises serious questions over whether this individual is fit to run for election.”

It comes after SNP MSP John Mason sparked outrage when, in a Twitter exchange, he said some would regard the IRA as "freedom fighters" when asked to back a campaign for justice for three Scottish soldiers killed by the terrorist group in Belfast over 40 years ago.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised over the comments.

Initially Mr Mason refused to withdraw his comments, calling them "general" and not directly linked to any one case. However, he later backtracked after party leader Nicola Sturgeon faced calls to act.

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