Belfast Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn has blood on his hands from IRA support, former terrorist says

A former IRA terrorist said Jeremy Corbyn's support for the group gave its members "great encouragement" and claimed the Labour leader and shadow chancellor John McDonnell have "blood on their own hands".

Sean O'Callaghan said the support of the Labour leader and Mr McDonnell had "made it easier" for the republican terror group to carry out atrocities.

A spokesman for the Labour dismissed the "false and contemptible claims" and stressed Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell's commitment to the peace process.

IRA terrorist-turned-informer O'Callaghan, a convicted double killer, said he witnessed the impact of the support from the Labour figures during the 1980s.

Writing in The Sun he said: "IRA men and women, many young and hopelessly politically naive, derived great encouragement from the solidarity openly displayed by Corbyn, McDonnell and their associates.

"I know. I was there. I witnessed the effect.

"They might not have pulled a trigger or planted a bomb but they certainly made it easier for those who did.

"By boosting our morale, they prolonged the violence and without a doubt for that, have blood on their own hands."

Mr Corbyn's spokesman said: "These are false and contemptible claims by a convicted murderer. John and Jeremy consistently campaigned for peace and championed the Good Friday Agreement."

The Labour leader has faced repeated questions about his association with the IRA and its political wing Sinn Fein during the 1980s and 1990s.

On Monday he condemned "all acts of violence from wherever they came" during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, but declined to specifically denounce the IRA as terrorists.

The Labour leader spoke after Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire accused him of having "IRA sympathies" and urged him to make clear whether he believes the group were terrorists and if their actions should be "unequivocally" condemned.

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