The SNP is playing a dangerous game as many people on this side of the Irish Sea will not find it so easy to forget Sinn Fein’s historic links to the IRA
Overall, some 49 soldiers with Scottish regiments were murdered — although this does not include those Scots killed while serving in other regiments or with the Royal Marines, Royal Navy or the RAF.
Of course, Sinn Fein is no longer the political wing of the IRA and the party has been involved in the mainstream political process of both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for many years.
Nevertheless, there is simply no getting away from the fact that many Scots — especially those from older age groups, who are more likely to vote — will find it difficult to forget Sinn Fein’s dark history.
Ms O’Neill, on the verge of making history as the first nationalist leader of Northern Ireland, is said to represent a “new generation” of Irish republicanism.
But in February she attended the unveiling of a memorial stone dedicated to three former IRA and club members shot dead by British armed forces.
At the time, a spokesman for a victims’ group, Innocent Victims United, said: “The presence of Michelle O’Neill at the unveiling of this memorial will also again raise the question for many; how could she ever perform the role of first minister – Northern Ireland’s symbolic head of state?”
This makes it all the more bewildering why Ms Sturgeon and other senior SNP figures seem so keen to laud the party’s success in last week’s Northern Irish elections.