Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Cashel has spoken of what he terms the “hypocritical” commentary that has arisen since the result of the UK elections.
Cllr Browne was speaking in response to calls from FF and FG that Sinn Féin would abandon their long held abstentionist policy in favour of imaginary short-term gain.
Cllr Browne said: “It is hypocritical for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to call for Sinn Féin to take up their seats in the Westminster Parliament. Fianna Fáil masquerades as a ‘Republican’ party, and while they claim to care for our brethren in Ulster, they won’t partake of the electoral process in the 6 counties under British military control.”
“Fianna Fáil have chosen to forget that the seat now taken by Chris Hazzard of Sinn Féin in South Down was previously held by their Eamon de Valera, the last apparent ‘Republican’ to have held that seat. Fine Gael similarly forget that Sinn Féin’s Michael Collins was also elected to the Westminster Parliament, and refused to take his seat for Cork South in 1918. Fine Gael also have not taken part in the electoral process in the 6 counties.”
“Both Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins refused to take those seats as an oath of loyalty to British royalty was offensive to them.
“This remains the case for members of the only truly Republican party left on the island, Sinn Féin.
“It seems only Sinn Féin remember the 800 years of misery visited on this island by that warlike Monarchy. Maybe these Fianna Fáilers and Fine Gaelers should make it personally clear whether they would take an Oath of loyalty to England?”
“In addition, the suggestion that abandoning the platform upon which Sinn Féin MPs stood would be sufficient to stop the Tory/DUP coalition is misleading.
“Those numbers don’t add up. Even if all parties in Westminster came together to support Corbyn’s Labour, there would still be a shortfall of six seats.
“Apart from not being able to add, only FF and FG commentators who routinely show such disregard for those who elected them could view such a fundamental policy reversal as a possibility.”
“It might also be useful if the southern media would do their job correctly, and ask these questions. Instead they’ve jumped two-feet first into the hype without considering how insulting the FF and FG suggestions are to the electorate in the 6 counties.”
“Hundreds of Sinn Féin members – including myself – travelled north to help in this election, as members of the only All-Ireland party. Sinn Féin continues to work in Dublin, Brussels, and Belfast to support it’s electorate. That electorate know our policies.”
“And all the while, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are jumping over each other to state they won’t work with Sinn Féin in the south. They are deceiving the 26 county voters generally, but with these calls they’re also trying to distract from the fact of the significant increase in the Sinn Féin vote and seat count,” concluded Cllr Browne.