Ireland’s Minister of State Michael D’Arcy has caused controversy by comparing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Oliver Cromwell.
Mr D’Arcy’s comments followed Mr Johnson’s controversial decision to suspend the British parliament in an attempt to prevent elected MPs from being able to debate the merits, or otherwise, of pursuing a no-deal Brexit.
As it turned out, the move backfired because parliament took matters in their own hands, took over control of government businees and passed a law in just three days preventing Johnson leaving with no deal.
More than 20 Conservative rebel MPs were thrown out of the party in one of the most ruthless culling of people who dared to disagree with the government ever seen.
Most experts believe a no-deal Brexit would be harmful for the UK, the EU and Ireland, but it appears to be Mr Johnson’s wish if he cannot renegotiate the current deal.
Mr D’Arcy has argued that the Prime Minister’s actions are comparable with a dictatorship.
He tweeted: “Perhaps the most anti-democratic decision since the Protectorate government, which Oliver Cromwell set up, was established.
“This was a military dictatorship, Cromwell dismissed his parliament when they disagreed with him.”
Cromwell was a British military leader and politician who led the Roundheads in the English Civil War, which ultimately brought an end to the rule of the monarchy in England at that time.
He is better known in Ireland as a brutal invader who oppressed Catholics, killed countless innocent civilians, confiscated land and transported thousands of people to the Caribbean as indentured servants.
To compare him to the current British leader is controversial to say the least and Mr D’Arcy has deleted his tweet after being contacted by the Taoiseach’s Office.
Other Irish ministers have tried to defuse the situation.
Minister for Communications Richard Bruton said: “We are not going to get involved in British politics because they have a lot of decisions to make.
“Undoubtedly, the decisions that they make will have a big impact on us and we need to give them the time and space to do that.”
Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said: “First of all, Minister D’Arcy has removed that tweet.
“As far as we are concerned, we are not going to comment on internal British politics.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling