The Taoiseach criticizes SF and claims ‘media management’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has sharply criticized Sinn Féin saying there is something deeply wrong with a party which has built its entire existence honoring a campaign of violence but is now attacking and prosecuting anyone claiming to have supported actions specific to this campaign.

Speaking at the annual commemoration of Theobald Wolfe Tone, Mr Martin said anyone who genuinely believed in a republican vision should be appalled by the growing attempt to bully and shut down debate by one party, which he accused of refusing to accept the basic responsibility accepted by everyone. other.

He claimed there is also a regular pattern of aggressive media management, which means party spokespersons are removed from “any place where they might be asked questions and grassroots inquiries are not given a response.” answer”.

The Taoiseach said: ‘it’s a lot of things – but democratic republicanism is not one of them’.

Mr Martin said too few have been willing to undertake the groundwork of questioning themselves and finding ways to build shared respect across historical barriers over the past 25 years.

“There has been a lot of talk about unity and reconciliation, but very little work has been done to build the bridges to get there,” he said.

Reacting to the Taoiseach’s remarks, Sinn Féin called Mr Martin’s comments a “bizarre and frankly absurd” attack.

Cavan-Monaghan TD Matt Carthy said: “We will not be accepting lessons from Micheál Martin.”

Sinn Féin’s agriculture, food and marine spokesman has accused the Taoiseach of presiding over a housing, health and cost of living crisis, which he says has worsened.

“There is a health crisis that is getting worse every year, and the urgency of the cost of living that is paralyzing many workers and families,” he added.

“And as usual, rather than focusing on any of these real issues, Micheál Martin is attacking Sinn Féin again,” Mr Carthy said.

Sinn Féin says Micheál Martin and the government have been “far too slow to act and have been minimalist in their approach”.

Sinn Féin also said it was ”fully accountable and transparent” and welcomes any scrutiny.

“In fact, we are probably the most scrutinized political party on this island,” Mr Carthy said.

Separately, the Taoiseach said the government had listened to concerns about the concrete tax and that details of the proposal would be “fleshed out” in the Money Bill next week.

However, Mr. Martin specified that the principle of a financial contribution from the construction sector to the cost of repairing defective houses would be retained.

It comes after a 10% concrete block tax was introduced in last month’s 2023 budget.

Additional reporting: Dimitri O’Donnell

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