THE stunning election victory of Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane has been oveshadowed by comments he made while celebrating.
The newly re-elected TD was recorded on video in a Waterford pub, shouting ‘Up the Ra’ – a reference to the IRA .
He recalled that one of the ten IRA hunger strikers who died in 1981, Kevin Lynch, had been a H-Block election candidate in Waterford in 1981.
Up the Republic, Up the Ra. Tiocfaidh ár Lá
At the end of the speech, he shouted: “Up the Republic, Up the Ra. Tiocfaidh ár Lá.”
Mr Cullinane later denied that the comment was a reference to recent events, saying that it was a reflection of the past.
He said it had been “ a very emotional day for me”. It was a long count and obviously we were very excited and very proud of the vote we got,” he said.
“The 30-second clip was part of a longer speech that I gave where I was reflecting back on the hunger strikes … the comments were made in that context”.