It is well beyond time Sinn Féin TDs stopped referring to terrorists and the Provisional IRA as ‘Óglaigh na hÉireann’, a Fine Gael Minister has said.
Minister Martin Heydon said there is only one Óglaigh na hÉireann in this country – the Irish Defence Forces.
The Fine Gael Kildare Minister was responding after Deputy Aengus O’Snodaigh referred to the Provisional IRA as Óglaigh na hÉireann in an interview on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta last Thursday on Tús Áite.
“The continued use of the title of the Irish Defence Forces – Óglaigh na hÉireann – by Sinn Féin TDs when discussing the Provisional IRA is a disgrace and an affront to our proud men and women serving our country here and abroad.
During last Thursday’s interview when speaking about a reported proposed amnesty for terrorists and British soldiers for what some horrific events during the Troubles, Deputy O’Snodaigh said, “For the most part, Óglaigh na hÉireann have admitted what they have done, whether it was a bad attack or one they thought was good.”
Minister Heydon said, “This is absolutely shocking. What a complete insult to our Defence Forces.
“It is time for Deputy Mary Lou McDonald’s party to stop this. Do they recognise Óglaigh na hÉireann? Do they recognise the Irish Defence Forces? Does Sinn Féin recognise Óglaigh na hÉireann as the official and only army in the State? It certainly appears not and everyone needs to realise this.
“It’s outrageous that anyone would say Óglaigh na hÉireann were responsible for atrocities across this island. Our Defence Forces serve this country bravely – terrorists left us nothing but pain, carnage and bloodshed,” Minister Heydon concluded.