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Mary Lou McDonald defends using Provo slogan

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Sinn Fein’s president Mary Lou McDonald (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Sinn Fein’s president Mary Lou McDonald (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Sinn Fein’s president Mary Lou McDonald (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Mary Lou McDonald has again defended using the words 'tiocfaidh ar la' in her first speech as Sinn Fein leader.

She ended her speech at the party ard fheis last month - where she took over the leadership from Gerry Adams - with the phrase. Long associated with the Provisional IRA, it translates as "Our day will come".

In an interview with US news station CNN, Ms McDonald said: "I did issue those words, I did say tiocfaidh ar la. That is the Irish for our day will come."

Ms McDonald said she had talked very directly about the building of a new Ireland.

She added that her speech had been an "ambitious manifesto" for reaching out, healing and change.

"I say that as a republican woman and I reserve the right to use republican language and that slogan is far beyond the reach of any single group," she said.

She added the phrase was a term commonly used by Irish nationalists and republicans.

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