Simon Coveney absolutely slates Mary Lou McDonald after she stands next to anti-British flag in parade 2 months ago

Simon Coveney absolutely slates Mary Lou McDonald after she stands next to anti-British flag in parade

"Offensive, divisive and an embarrassment”.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has called the decision of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald to stand next to an anti-English banner as “offensive, divisive and an embarrassment”.

As you can see in the image below, McDonald posed beside a number of banners at the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York.

Sinn Féin shared a number of images that were taken at the parade, including one which read: ‘England Get Out Of Ireland’.

McDonald shared this image on her own personal account too.

The Tánaiste has since replied to the photo by saying that "this is not leadership - it’s offensive, divisive and an embarrassment - grow up, this is not Ireland in 2019! We are better than this!"

Claire Hanna, MLA for South Belfast, was also critical of McDonald's decision to pose for the photograph next to this banner.

Hanna said: "Ireland has moved on - contrast Varadkar’s confident, constructive tackling of prejudice with Pence yesterday and this grotty, lumpen kick just to keep the cash machine delivering for SF. Mirror image of the DUP".

Alliance Leader Naomi Long said that the banner "is not just profoundly stupid (England is not now and never has been or could be in Ireland) but it sends out a hostile and offensive message to anyone English or of English extraction on this island. Respect, Equality, Integrity anyone?".

Colum Eastwood, Leader of the SDLP, was also critical and expressed his opinion that : "Sinn Fein aren't capable of convincing unionists of anything. The rest of us will have a lot of heavy lifting to do".

During a recent European conference, Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Declan Kearney, discussed the central role that Europe has to play in developing the transition to Irish unity.

Kearney said: "The imposition of Brexit by the British Tory government on the north of Ireland is inherently undemocratic in nature.  But it is also a direct by product of Ireland's undemocratic and continued partition, enforced by British colonial policy. Partition has been an abject failure. It was never designed to make the northern state a political or economic success.

"Brexit has created a defining moment for these islands. International attention has been refocused upon the democratic case for Irish unity. Britain's border in Ireland has now become an issue for Europe."

You can read the full statement here.

Main image via Sinn Féin