The Inishowen man spoke out after his appearance on Tonight with Vincent Browne in the wake of the controversial Smithwick Tribunal report. Sinn Fein faced criticism for failing to condemn the killings of two senior RUC officers.
“Apparently some have misinterpreted my comments that the Vincent Browne Tonight programme I participated in last Wednesday night was a “stitch up” of four against one (including the presenter) on an emotive issue like the war in the Six Counties as withdrawing from the comments I made,” said the TD in a statement today.
“My full interview on Highland Radio was not aired due to the death of Nelson Mandela. Had it been, it would be clear that I was not withdrawing at all. I will never participate in the criminalisation and demonisation of the young men and women who fought in the IRA in the most recent conflict from the late 60s to the 90s.
“I will also not hesitate to challenge the rank hypocrisy of those who venerate the 1916 rising leaders and the IRA of the War of Independence while criminalising those they abandoned to what was an apartheid state and who fought against it for the dignity and equality of their people.
“Their hypocrisy is evident again with the passing of the great Nelson Mandela,” he added.
Donegal Daily’s report from Wednesday night is here: