Govt Minister says Sinn Féin sanction on Barry McElduff over Kingsmill tweet is 'not appropriate'

Govt Minister says Sinn Féin sanction on Barry McElduff over Kingsmill tweet is 'not appropriate'
A screenshot from the video tweeted by Barry McElduff.

A Government minister has described as "appalling" the behaviour of a Sinn Féin MP who offended families of those killed in the Kingsmill massacre.

Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff posed with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the 1976 attack.

He has been suspended from the party for three months.

Barry McElduff arriving at the Sinn Féin meeting on the incident.
Barry McElduff arriving at the Sinn Féin meeting on the incident.

However, Junior Minister Patrick O'Donovan says that does not go far enough.

He said: "The behaviour, I think Simon Coveney decribed it as stupid yesterday, I think that is putting it mildly. I think the reaction of the relatives spoke volumes for the hurt that had been inflicted.

"But they (Sinn Féin) have made the decision to impose the sanction, and it is what it is, but the relatives don't believe that it is appropriate and to be quite honest about it I would agree with them."

It comes after Sinn Féin's deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, insisted that the punishment for what she called a "very crass" act was "appropriate and proportionate".

Ms McDonald described the incident as "very stupid", "very hurtful" and "unforgivable".

She told RTE Radio’s News at One that Mr McElduff "fully accepts that he caused hurt and distress to the Kingsmill families", adding that he is "contrite".

She said: "It is very clear that we do not tolerate behaviour like that," before arguing that it was "the appropriate and proportionate action to take for two reasons".

The two reasons she outlined were that fact that the tweet was taken down from social media and that Mr McElduff "takes full responsibility" for it.

- Digital Desk


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