|Conor Murphy and Michelle O'Neill|
On the other hand Michelle O'Neill has just passed her fortieth birthday and does not have a record of involvement in the IRA As a result she is seen by some nationalist commentators as the face of 'new Sinn Fein'.
|Michelle O'Neill at a commemoration for Luke'Dynamite' Dillon!|
On the other hand such is the nature of Sinn Fein that all of their politicians, including those who were not involved in terrorism, cannot distance themselves from the Provisional IRA and from endorsement of its terrorist campaign. The Easter Rising commemorations and the calendar of local IRA commemorations require speakers and provide a platform for Sinn Fein politicians and aspiring politicians.
That speech was given at the republican plot in the Edendork graveyard where some of Ireland's 'patriot dead' are buried or commemorated. Among those buried in the plot at Edendork is Patrick Joseph Kelly, who was the commander of the notorious East Tyrone Brigade of the Provisional IRA. This was the most active unit in the IRA and the most extreme but Kelly's terrorist career was ended on 8 May 1987.when the SAS ambushed an IRA murder gang at Loughgall.
|Luke 'Dynamite' Dillon -|
Irish republican bomber in both England and Canada
In April 2014 Michelle O'Neill even spoke at a commemoration in Pennsylvania. for Luke 'Dynamite' Dillon, who took part in the Fenian 'Dynamite' campaign in England in the 19th century.
But Sinn Fein want to expand their electoral base, especially in the Irish Republic, and that is the reason for the elevation of someone like Mary Lou McDonald in the Republic. Sinn Fein may well look on Michelle O'Neill in the same way and she may or or may not be elevated to replace Martin McGuinness but until Sinn Fein abandons this fixation with the past and what Patrick Pearse called 'our Fenian dead', we will continue to see young nationalists radicalised and drawn into the ranks of the terrorist force of the day.