A Scottish mother who has been selling dolls that she has made dressed in IRA uniforms has sparked anger.
Mariea Hughes, who sells the ‘light-hearted’ figures at £100 each, has come under fire from groups who represent families killed by the IRA.
Hughes, from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, said she makes the dolls in honour of the Cumann na mBan, an Irish republican women’s group.
Nick Taylor, chief executive of The Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation For Peace, a charity set up after the 1993 bombing in Cheshire, released a statement, while the parent of a child who stumbled across them online while searching for Barbies branded them ‘tasteless’.
Mr Taylor, said: “If we are to build a lasting peace, then we need to be sensitive to those affected by the past, and anyone producing a doll that associates with violence and holds a gun is bound to cause controversy and upset amongst victims and survivors.”
But interviewed by The Sunday Post, Hughes said she has ‘no regrets’ about selling the dolls that have black plastic macs, sunglasses, black ties and tiny badges on their berets that commemorate the 1916 Rising, and added that she has received a number of orders from politicians in the Republic.
One photo of the dolls is captioned: “Three wee Provo girls ready to leave and head to their new homes”.
Victims campaigner Kenny Donaldson told the News Letter: “This latest showing of terrorism idolatry is crass in the extreme.
“The Provisional IRA were not an army, they were and are a terrorist organisation who are more akin to the traits of Mafia-esque gangsters.”
He added: “There is a look of menace within the ‘dolls’ which conveys a very dark and disturbing message.”
Despite the outcry, Hughes claims that large amount of orders meant there were waiting lists until May for dolls.