McDonald criticises ‘blueshirt’ heckling from FG benches

Sinn Féin deputy leader clashes with Tánaiste over Dorset Street shooting

Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald has criticised ‘blueshirt’’ heckling from the Fine Gael benches in heated Dáil exchanges. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald has criticised ‘blueshirt’’ heckling from the Fine Gael benches in heated Dáil exchanges. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has criticised “blueshirt’’ heckling from the Fine Gael benches in heated Dáil exchanges.

She raised the shooting dead of a man in an underground car park in Dublin’s north inner city on Tuesday and accused Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald of being far too slow to respond to community fear.

“People are literally terrified and that is unacceptable,’’ she added.

Ms Fitzgerald said Ms McDonald was dividing communities.

“You cannot acknowledge the positive initiatives that have been taken,’’ the Minister added.

Ms McDonald accused Fine Gael TDs of intervening in the exchanges and cutting short the amount of time she had to speak.

“I suppose that is Blueshirt for you,’’ she added.

Amid the exchanges, Leas Cheann Comhairle Pat ‘Cope’ Gallagher remarked: “I know we are off next week, but…’’

The House is scheduled to adjourn later on Thursday for a week’s break.

Ms McDonald said the ruthless murder was another shocking incident in broad daylight at the heart of a community caught in the grip of a criminal feud that had spiralled out of control.

“There is no excuse for the fear inflicted on the people of the inner city by criminals who flout the law to put the lives of innocents in jeopardy,’’ she added.

Ms McDonald said the Minister for Justice could not stand idly by while gangsters walked the streets with impunity, taking life without fear of being caught.

Families and communities were living in fear, she added.

Ms Fitzgerald said for 30 years the State’s security forces sought to prevent people who would get involved in shootings and terrorist activity and dedicated themselves to preventing murders.

The gardaí were doing the same now, she added.

“I absolute abhor and condemn the fatal shooting yesterday, the circumstances in which it took place, the callousness,’’ the Minister added.

She said there was no question of standing idly by.

“The Government has committed enormous resources to the north inner city,’’ said Ms Fitzgerald.