Very Hard to Imagine, Mary Lou, never Crossed, Paths with the Monk Hutch, on her Travels, Canvassing, in the Inner City, of Dublin?

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Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald insists she has ‘never met Gerry Hutch’

 10th December 2022

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has insisted she has never met Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch and gangland criminals do not contribute to her party.

The Special Criminal Court heard in recent weeks that former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall was secretly recorded claiming the party leader used the Hutch family for money and votes.

Dowdall was speaking to Mr Hutch in a conversation that was bugged by gardaí and played before the Special Criminal Court.

However, Ms McDonald has categorically denied any dealings with Hutch or any of his associates, and she described organised crime as “pure and absolute thuggery”.

“No, I have not met Gerard Hutch and no, gangland figures do not contribute to Sinn Féin. Simple as that,” she said.

In an interview on South East Radio, the Sinn Féin leader was asked about criticism which was levelled at her by the former Wexford hurling manager Liam Griffin.

Mr Griffin, whose father was a member of the gardaí, spoke at the launch of a book called The Guards, which looks at the history of the force in the county over the last 100 years.

He accused Ms McDonald of “hypocrisy, self-righteousness and populism” and said the IRA “weren’t patriots, but thugs and murderers in cold blood”.

He made special reference to the murder of Detective Garda Seamus Quaid in Wexford in October of 1980.

Reading a passage from the book, Mr Griffin said: “The Garda view of the intended destination of the explosives in Rogers’ van appears to have been confirmed in 2014, when Rogers in a BBC interview said he was under direct instructions from Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to drive explosives in a van to the British. He also accused both Adams and McGuinness of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease that they could not remember giving out those instructions.”

Speaking in response, Ms McDonald said Liam Griffin feels “such personal animosity” towards her, adding “it’s a real shame”. She also said “no members of the gardaí” should have been “hurt or harmed” during the conflict.

“On, that, he [Liam Griffin] and I are of one mind,” she said.

“I can’t change history…but of course these issues and these hurts will emerge and all I can do is extend my sympathy, my heartfelt sorrow, and on behalf of those that were hurt or harmed by Republicans, of any guise, in any set of circumstances, to offer a heartfelt apology.”

Meanwhile, Ms McDonald was also critical of former TD Shane Ross.

Mr Ross recently released a biography of Ms Donald and in it, he said her credibility was “damaged” when she backed former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams on issues including the death of Jean McConville.

“I make up my own mind on things. I take my own position on things…Shane is a poor biographer and a poorer mind reader judging by that extract. So, that’s all I have to say on that subject,” Ms McDonald added.

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