SINN leader Gerry Adams has defended the involvement of Lord Louis Mountbatten’s murderer in Sinn Fein’s election campaign.
Thomas McMahon was the only person convicted for the horrific IRA attack in 1979 that also killed two children.
He has been out on the campaign trail, canvassing for MEP hopeful Matt Carthy.
However, although he is a convicted killer, the party said that Mr McMahon’s contribution to the election campaign was “valued”.
McMahon served almost 20 years in prison for the callous bomb attack on Lord Mountbatten and his family while they were fishing off the Sligo coast.
The massive explosion claimed the life of Lord Mountbatten (79), his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull, and Paul Maxwell (15), who was working on the boat.
Another passenger on the boat, Lady Brabourne (82), died of her injuries the following day and Nicholas Knatchbull’s twin brother, Timothy, was blinded in one eye.
The Queen’s cousin, who was a World War II hero and the last Viceroy of the British Indian Empire, was assassinated by the Provisional IRA.
Paul Maxwell’s father, John, said he did not want to comment on McMahon - but friends of the family said they found his involvement “distasteful”.
McMahon has never apologised to Mr Maxwell or Lord Mountbatten’s family for the terrorist attack.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said Mr Adams’ support for the IRA killer was a “slap in the face” for the victims of the murders that shocked the nation more than 30 years ago.
McMahon has never publicly discussed his role in the bombing. However, the year before his release from jail in 2009, his wife said: “Tommy never talks about Mountbatten, only the boys who died.
“He does have genuine remorse. Oh, God yes.”
Mrs McMahon is a former Sinn Fein councillor and a former Mayor of Carrickmacross.