Louise, Sources within, SF say, Members knew, of Dowdalls, Gangland links, and Said Fuck all, look, Mary Lou, Never gave back, the 1,000 Donation, Blood Money, this Speakes Volumes. Imagine, Dowdall the Jailed Thug, could, have become, a SF TD.

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Sinn Féin TD says Jonathan Dowdall would have not been in party if it knew of his criminal links

• Yesterday 15:17

A Sinn Féin TD has maintained that former Dublin City councillor Jonathan Dowdall would have not been in the party if it was aware of his criminal links, despite a poll showing the public doesn’t believe Mary Lou McDonald’s denial of this knowledge.

The party leader has consistently said she would have not let Mr Dowdall “anywhere near” her or the party if it was aware of his links to criminality.

Dowdall formed a key figure in the trial of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch for the murder of Kinahan cartel figure David Byrne. Dowdall turned State witness, however the Special Criminal Court found his evidence unreliable and Hutch was acquitted.

The latest Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks poll shows Sinn Féin is by far the most popular party in the State at 31pc, at no change with the previous poll.

However, 57pc of those polled do not believe Ms McDonald whens she said neither she nor here party were aware of Mr Dowdall’s links to criminality when he joined Sinn Féin and ran for the local elections in 2014.

Only 26pc said they believed Ms McDonald while 17pc were not sure.

Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly said Dowdall would have not been allowed “anywhere near” the party if it was aware of his criminal links.

“Mary Lou has answered that on a number of occasions, the fact is that if we had known what that man was like, we wouldn’t have been anywhere near our party.

“So we’re pleased with the result, we’re pleased to be consistently polling over 30pc but there is only one result that only matters.”

She said the “challenge” for every party will be to engage with their communities “which is something that Sinn Féin rightfully prides itself on”.

“Between now and whenever the election is, we will be working hard to deliver for our communities.

“Am I disappointed to be on 31pc, to be consistently polling in the early 30s, to have exceeded our general election result? That’s a great result and a great result for the party.”

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