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Eilis O'Hanlon

Mary Lou McDonald is living proof that the real struggle now is about who gets to tell the story of the Troubles... perpetrators or victims

Eilis O'Hanlon


Not only did most nationalists not join the IRA, but they didn't even give their support to Sinn Fein, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

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Mary Lou McDonald said she might have joined IRA if she’d been brought up in west Belfast

Mary Lou McDonald said she might have joined IRA if she’d been brought up in west Belfast

Mary Lou McDonald said she might have joined IRA if she’d been brought up in west Belfast

After three decades under a man who insists that despite growing up oppressed by the Brits in west Belfast he never once joined the IRA, Sinn Fein now has a leader who, despite being born in a leafy, middle-class area of Dublin, says "there'd be every chance" she would have joined the IRA if she'd been in the same boat. It's a wonder republican voters can keep up.

It's easy to mock the contortions Sinn Fein politicians are forced to perform as they simultaneously eulogise the Provisional IRA campaign while distancing themselves from its worst atrocities, but Mary Lou McDonald's latest attempt to suck up to the hard men in Northern Ireland by saying what they did was "justified" is no laughing matter.