Belfast Telegraph

'Would you call Nelson Mandela a terrorist?' - Sinn Fein's Ni Riada condemns Enniskillen bombing

By Gareth Cross

The Sinn Fein candidate for President of Ireland Liadh Ni Riada has said that the Enniskillen bombing should be condemned, describing it as an "atrocity".

MEP Ni Riada made the comments during a debate featuring all six Presidential hopefuls on Irish channel Virgin Media One.

Twelve people were killed and 63 injured in the Enniskillen bombing which took place on Remembrance Day (November 8) 1987.

The IRA planted a bomb near the town's war memorial and it exploded during the Remembrance Sunday service.

They later said the bombing had been a mistake and had been intended to target British soldiers.

During the debate Ms Ni Riada was asked by host Pat Kenny about a Hot Press interview during which she said she was "uncomfortable" with using the word terrorism to describe IRA atrocities such as Bloody Friday, the Warrington bomb and Birmingham pub bombings.

Mr Kenny asked if she considered the Enniskillen bombing to be a terror attack.

"I think any atrocity like that (Enniskillen bombing) should be condemned, but look, the IRA have been gone the last 20 years, we have a peace process in place, we should be cementing that and working on building that rather than constantly revisiting what labeling and semantics and all of that," Ms Ni Riada replied.

She asked Mr Kenny if he would consider former South African President Nelson Mandela a terrorist.

The host also challenged Ms Ni Riada on whether or not Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA.

"The IRA are gone, you keep bringing it back," she said.

The Sinn Fein candidate said that she would leave party politics aside if elected.

"I'm proud to be nominated by Sinn Fein but this is about being a president for everybody and that inclusivity," Ms Ni Riada said.

"There's no denying it, I'm a Sinn Fein candidate, but I would be a president for everyone."

During the debate incumbent Michael D. Higgins was targeted by fellow candidate Derry-born Peter Casey over his expenses while President.

Mr Casey criticised the President for flying to Belfast using the Government jet and having a driver meet him there.

President Higgins rejected the criticism of his expenses describing them as "fantasy".

He said that he had been advised to travel to Belfast by plane due to "security concerns".

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