Sinn Féin have known for almost a decade that their party discussed with criminal Jonathan Dowdall a shooting incident at his uncle’s house and never admitted it until today, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Sinn Féin’s leader Mary Lou McDonald previously said her party had no knowledge or inkling of their councillor’s involvement in crime.
Deputy Alan Farrell today said the Sinn Féin leader’s account is completely contradicted today by her party colleague, Eoin O’Broin.
On Morning Ireland this morning, Eoin O’Broin said during a meeting between the party’s director of elections and Dowdall before the 2014 local elections, “It was Jonathan Dowdall who raised the issue of an attack on a family member’s home.”
Gardai investigated a gun attack on a Dublin home in March 2011.
During the Special Criminal Court trial, tapes played as evidence heard Dowdall claim that the Sinn Féin official said to him “ya riddled your uncle’s house” and “he (Sinn Féin official) says this is my job to ask this in case it comes out in the media”.
“Despite the party being asked on numerous occasions what they knew of Dowdall prior to his election in Mary Lou McDonald’s constituency, Sinn Féin never once mentioned a discussion between their director of elections and Dowdall – until this morning. They discussed a gun attack and Sinn Féin never mentioned it,” Deputy Farrell said.
Deputy Alan Farrell, Fine Gael’s Dáil spokesman on Justice, said “it is quite clear now that Sinn Féin have know for nine years of a gun attack on Dowdall’s uncle’s house which the party now says their own future politician brought up and discussed with the director of elections.”
“This information didn’t just come to the party of out the blue this morning.
“This completely discredits Mary Lou McDonald’s account that nobody else had any idea of what Dowdall was capable of, as she previously claimed.
“Jonathan Dowdall became a Sinn Féin councillor at the 2014 local elections. Now we know before voting day, Dowdall told the party’s director of elections that he had no role in a 2011 gun attack at his uncle’s home.
“And here we are nine years on, being asked to believe that Sinn Féin simply accepted this being brought up out of the blue by Dowdall and did nothing?
“And yet, after all this, Dowdall is still deemed suitable to be a Sinn Féin candidate and they go off and get the posters and canvass cards ready. He soon goes onto waterboard a man while serving as a councillor in Mary Lou McDonald’s constituency.
“What else do they know about Jonathan Dowdall that has not yet become public? How much in donations and fundraising did the party receive from the criminal?
“There is numerous questions here for the Sinn Féin party leader who needs to issue a statement on this,” Deputy Farrell said.