Inappropriate attempts by a Sinn Féin TD to use Bloody Sunday to attack political opponents on social media are grossly offensive and dishonourable, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Government Chief Whip and Kerry Fine Gael TD, Brendan Griffin said: “On Saturday, we had a dignified and moving ceremony at GAA headquarters to honour the 14 victims who were killed by British forces in Croke Park in 1920.
“Throughout the country over the weekend, GAA clubs and people in every county across the island honourably remembered those slain. It was a time of remembrance and reflection. And that’s all we should have been talking about this weekend.
“Totally out of sync with the Irish people, a Sinn Féin TD used the Bloody Sunday anniversary as an opportunity to sow division and post propaganda on social media.
“In a tweet on Saturday, which has since been deleted, Sinn Féin’s Social Protection Spokesperson in the Dáil, John Brady TD, cynically and falsely claimed that Tánaiste and Fine Gael leader, Leo Varadkar, had laid a wreath outside Croke Park for the RIC, before ‘sticking his head inside to be impartial’.
“Another disturbing post on a Sinn Féin supporter’s Facebook page actually incited extreme violence against the Tánaiste.
“Commemorations marking the fight for our independence and birth of our State, particularly over the next three years, will require maturity and understanding of all views and traditions on these islands and also respect for history and the truth.
“Public representatives, irrespective of political and ideological differences, must lead responsibly.
“Many social media posts witnessed this weekend represent an affront to democracy and do a disservice to the legacy of those who worked so hard to advance peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.
“Sinister elements are increasingly attempting to equate the democratically elected Government of Ireland to historic Imperial oppression. This is a highly dangerous abuse of the commemorative process and dishonours our dead. It must end and all members of Dáil Éireann have a duty not to participate in such abuse and dishonour,” Deputy Griffin concluded.