CORK North Central TD and European Election candidate for Ireland South Billy Kelleher has compared Sinn Féin to UK politician Nigel Farage.
He made the comparison in relation to what he described as the party’s attempt to ‘undermine public confidence in the EU by dishonestly claiming that an EU army is being created’.
“Sinn Féin hypocrisy knows no bounds,” Mr Kelleher said. “The party has always sought to undermine the EU and has refused to acknowledge the co-operation, ideas and resources which have benefitted this country.
“Now it’s seeking to pedal its inaccurate propaganda to create a sense of fear among the public about a European army.
"In so doing, they are aligning themselves with Nigel Farage and the hard right wing of the British Tory party.”
Sinn Féin is opposed to Ireland’s involvement in the Permanent Structured Co-Operation (PESCO), and MEP Lynn Boylan raised the issue over the weekend, saying it was not alarmist to voice concerns about an EU army.
But Mr Kelleher insisted the defence cooperation arrangement was not about creating a European army or undermining Irish neutrality.
“It’s about deepening our co-operation with other member states in the Union,” he said. “It’s about working together.
“Sinn Féin is trying to use fear to spread its anti-EU message. Its claims are completely dishonest and dangerous.”