August 5, 2021

‘Sinister and desperate’ – Waterford TD reacts to Sinn Fein Army Council jab

An outgoing Waterford TD and Fianna Fáil candidate for the upcoming general election believes the IRA Army Council in Belfast is pulling Sinn Féin’s strings.

Deputy Mary Butler made the comment this morning when speaking to Damien Tiernan on WLR FM’s Deise Today programme.

When asked about Sinn Féin, Deputy Butler said they were “not ready to govern” and said Fianna Fáil would not be entering government with them as she believed “the Army Council in Belfast has a significant role in how Sinn Féin do business in national politics.”

Responding to Deputy Butler’s comments Waterford’s Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane told what she had said was “sinister” and “ desperate.”

The incident arose when Deputy Butler was asked about her working relationship with Deputy Cullinane.

“I can work with David Cullinane,” Deputy Butler said.

But when asked if Fianna Fáil would go into government with Sinn Féin, Deputy Butler response was clear.

“No, categorially no! My own view is Sinn Féin is not ready to govern yet.”

Deputy Butler explained her reasons using the examples of Sinn Féin’s non-engagement with Brexit votes in Westminster while claiming expenses there, and the example of the Northern Ireland assembly lying idle for three year.

Deputy Butler added there is “a bullying culture in Sinn Féin”, before highlighting the parties record in Waterford City and County Council and said; “When it came to taking hard choices they ran away.

When asked if Fianna Fáil’s stance on Sinn Féin was just political postering, Deputy Butler denied this and reiterated Fianna Fáil will not go into government with Sinn Féin.

“When you have outside influences determining what way Sinn Féin decide to do business?

“I would imagine the Army Council in Belfast has a significant role in how Sinn Féin do business in national politics.”

Sinn Fein’s Waterford TD David Cullinane speaking with told us this is just an excuse being created by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to avoid going into government with the Sinn Féin and implementing their policies.

“When Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were asked why they would not talk to Sinn Féin after the election, we knew they would come up with all types of spurious reasons why. There really is no good reason other than they do not want to implement our policies.

“What we got from Mary is the classic returning to the past argument and I don’t believe that will wash with people.

“The IRA is gone! The Army Council is gone! This election is about the future.

“I can say to Mary Butler that no one controls me, I am my own person.

“The only people I am answerable to are the people of Waterford. That is what this election should be about. I will not get involved in negative campaigning.”

Despite the comments of the Fianna Fáil TD, Deputy Cullinane said he will have no issue working with her in the future.

“I will always work with Mary. She is entitled to make a political charge against Sinn Féin and that’s entirely a matter for her.

“I have no problem Mary challenging the policies of Sinn Féin as I challenge the policies of Fianna Fáil, but these type of spurious arguments, making out that Sinn Fein is controlled by outside forces, are completely wrong.

“It’s sinister and it’s desperate,” Deputy Cullinane concluded.

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