WATCH: Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane shouts ‘Up the Ra’ to supporters at Waterford victory event
Newly re-elected Sinn Fein TD for Waterford David Cullinane has defended shouting “up the RA” to supporters at at an event celebrating his 20,000-vote victory.
In a video from a post-election rally, Mr Cullinane said: “Up the Republic, Up the ‘Ra. Tiocfaidh ár Lá.”
In the video he tells the supporters that one of the ten IRA hunger strikers who died in 1981, Kevin Lynch, was a H-Block election candidate in Waterford in 1981.
The address to supporters was filmed on a camera phone and has been posted on Twitter.
He has now said that he stood over his comments: “I have never distanced myself from the IRA, or from Bobby Sands and the people who died on hunger strike, or for those who, over 100 years, were involved in the armed struggle.
“That is no Secret. I have no problem saying that,” he is quoted as saying in the Irish Times.
“I have never had any difficulty with people taking a stance.”
Asked if his words could be upsetting to some people, he replied: “We are a united Ireland party and we have never distanced ourselves from that.
“I do not agree with everything that the IRA did but I would not distance myself from it.”
In the video, he refers to Mr Lynch, from Dungiven in Co Derry who died in 1981 after 71 days of starving himself.
“(Mr Lynch) was the H-Block candidate here in this constituency,” he said.
“And what a fantastic moment it must be if his family is watching on, and people in the North are watching on, to see Sinn Féin get over 20,000 first preference votes in this constituency.
“They did not break the hunger strikers. They did not break Bobby Sands and Kevin Lynch.
“They will never break us. They will never break Sinn Féin.
“Up the Republic, Up the Ra and Tiocfaidh ár Lá,” he shouted.
Newly elected TD shouting “Up the Ra”. That’s what people voted for. Does anyone honestly think it was all about the homelessness and the public services? pic.twitter.com/qqKARDHuaP
— Niall O'Connor (@NI_ALLO) February 10, 2020