Sinn Féin David Cullinane has defended his use of the term 'Up the Ra' at an election victory celebration. 

The newly re-elected TD was recorded on video making the comment in a pub in Waterford last night.

He had earlier secured re-election in the Waterford constituency in the General Election.

Speaking this evening, Mr Cullinane said he made the comments in the context of remembering those who stood in the constituency during the hunger strikes of the 1980s.

He denied that the comment was a reference to events of recent days, saying that it was a reflection of the past.

M Cullinane said he celebrates the fact that the IRA is gone and that they have been replaced by a "very successful peace process".

Earlier, Mr Cullinane told Today FM's Last Word that he had never distanced himself from Sinn Féin's past.

While he said he would never distance himself from the IRA’s, past he said he does not agree with everything they did.

He added that while the IRA "has gone" it does not mean that "those volunteers" are not celebrated and commemorated.