Fine Gael TD Noel Rock has called on Fianna Fáil front bench member Éamon Ó Cuív to explain why he attempted to convince a judge that a terrorist – who plotted a bomb attack on Prince Charles two years ago – was supportive of the peace process.

The Fianna Fail TD wrote to a Special Criminal Court judge after visiting dissident terrorist leader Seamus McGrane in prison. McGrane has been jailed for 11 and a half years for membership of the IRA and directing terrorism.

The Special Criminal Court heard today in his letter Ó Cuív expressed the opinion that McGrane was “fully supportive” of his efforts to facilitate the peace process.

Deputy Rock said, “It is absolutely outrageous that Deputy Ó Cuív would send such a letter to the court. Deputy Ó Cuív claims that Mr McGrane was ‘fully supportive’ of his efforts to facilitate the peace process.

“Does Deputy Ó Cuív believe that planning to murder a member of the British royal family is supporting peace?

“Is he trying to show us that this terrorist who has convictions dating back to the 1970s was having a road to Damascus conversion? Who is Deputy Ó Cuív trying to fool here? It is a disgusting attempt by a TD to try and influence our courts.

“I would also question if the Fianna Fáil party were aware of this letter and support such comments. The party try to talk big on crime yet they are supporting convicted criminals – hypocrisy at its finest,” said the Dublin North West TD.