Browne and Ahearn lock horns

Photo © Tipp FM

A war of words has broken out between two Tipperary Oireachtas members over the attendance by members of the Sinn Fein leadership at a funeral in Belfast.

Party president Mary Lou McDonald and the North’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill were among around 1,800 people who attended the funeral of former IRA man Bobby Storey earlier this week.

Photos published online and elsewhere have shown that social distance guidelines were not always being adhered to.

Senator Garret Ahearn was critical of the IRA leadership for then going to Leinster House to announce their front bench.

Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne launched a scathing attack on the Fine Gael Senator on Tipp Today earlier.

“I’m disgusted; disappointed at the cheap publicity that Garret is trying to get for himself. And maybe Garret himself needs a bit of a geography lesson like Leo that Belfast isn’t overseas.”

“He’s talking out of two sides of his mouth now because when the Senate elections were on Garret was very happy to start ringing around ‘Shinners’ all around the country and especially in Tipperary asking for their votes.”

However Garret Ahearn was quick to respond to Martin Browne’s accusations.

“I rang one Sinn Féin person – Councillor David Dunne. I find him a very capable and good person. I’ve a very good relationship with him and I like him and I rang him for support. He’s a good Tipperary man like myself and I wouldn’t have any issue.”

“This is Sinn Féin typically looking for sympathy – the guilt trip – like they made an error of judgement and that happens in politics all the time. What you do when you make an error of judgement you stand up and you apologise.”