The Ulster Unionist Party’s Chief Whip, Robbie Butler MLA, has described pro-IRA comments by a Sinn Fein TD as ‘crass and insensitive’ and offensive to all democrats.
Robbie Butler MLA said:
“The comments of Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane after he retained his seat in Waterford were crass and insensitive. Whilst one section of Sinn Fein claims that this election result in the Republic is a response to concerns over health and housing, we were all treated to Mr Cullinane referencing IRA terrorists and bellowing ‘Up the Ra’.
“I have always regarded myself as a moderate unionist who has sought to work with and for anyone and everyone. I want to work for a prosperous, secure and stable Northern Ireland, because I believe that represents the best chance for the future for all the people who live here.
"The language of ‘Up the Ra” used by David Cullinane is as far away from my vision of the future as it is possible to get. To stand at an election celebration and reference violent fascists who murdered hundreds and maimed tens of thousands of innocent people, will have shocked and offended all democrats, no matter where they live on the island of Ireland. It is worth remembering that whilst 24.5% of voters in the Republic voted for Sinn Fein, more than 75% did not.
“If Sinn Fein are serious about making Northern Ireland – or the Republic of Ireland - work, then they are doing a very bad job of selling it.”