Andrews in fresh SF tweets controversy

Former Fianna Fáil TD Chris Andrews has been left red-faced just hours before he applies to join Sinn Féin after a series of tweets emerged in which he accused the party of being corrupt, referred to the IRA murder of Jean McConville, the Northern Bank raid and “the number of people Sinn Féin reps have killed over the years”.

Using a phoney Twitter account he also insinuated that Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA — an accusation widely believed but always denied by the SF leader.

Later today Sinn Féin’s national executive is expected to consider an application from the son of the late Fianna Fáil MEP Niall Andrews to join the party with a view to running in next summer’s local elections in Dublin.

However, it has emerged that Chris Andrews, 49, made a series of highly critical tweets of Sinn Féin in March and April of 2012 from the same phoney Twitter account @brianformerff which he used to criticise Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and other figures within the party.

On that occasion he was uncovered after the husband of a senior FF party figure used video and photo surveillance to catch him in the act. He admitted the tweets were his and resigned from the party before a disciplinary process was begun.

In this latest embarrassment he engaged with other Twitter account users saying “… given what SF has done to innocent people it’s a bit much listening to you pontificate”.

He mocks one Twitter user for “believing everything Mahon report says but doesn’t belive (sic) that Gerry Adams was in the IRA!”.

Referring to the brutal 1972 murder of Belfast mother of 10 Jean McConville who was abducted from her Belfast home, shot in the back of the head, and her body buried in a Co Louth beach, he tweeted, “Was it not corrupt to bury mother of 10 Jean Mc Conville. Is that acceptable to you. Selective outrage I thinks.”

Other tweets referred to “workers on their way to bank raids” and “so Ira never done bank robberies”. In 2004, £26.5m was robbed from the Northern Bank in Belfast. Both the British and Irish governments blamed the IRA for carrying out one of the biggest bank raids in UK history. Sinn Féin has denied the IRA was responsible.

Last year, Andrews was unmasked as the person behind the anonymous @brianformerff account which posted over 300 tweets, many highly derogatory of Micheál Martin and other senior FF party figures.

Days after being exposed in Aug 2012 Mr Andrews said: “I take full responsibility for it. It was the wrong thing to do. I regret doing it. For someone who is generally outspoken and not afraid to speak out, I regret that I did not say things publicly six months ago.”

Mr Andrews is a grandson of one of Fianna Fáil’s founders Todd Andrews and a nephew of David Andrews, a former Fianna Fáil minister who helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement.

Yesterday, Mr Adams would not be drawn on whether he believed Mr Andrews would be a suitable SF candidate.

Chris Andrews was not available for comment.

Fianna Fáil also refused to comment.


Tweets from @brianformerff, later identified as ex-TD Chris Andrews:

Friday, Mar 23, 3.12pm @MaryLouMcDonald Hard to take SF/Adams lecturing Bertie on being corrupt after all they have done!! Keep out of it. #mahon

Thursday, Mar 29, 11am [twitter handle deleted] I agree with a lot of your views but given what SF has done to innocent people its a bit much listening to you pontificate.

11.01am [twitter handle deleted] Was it not corrupt to bury mother of 10 Jean Mc Conville. Is that acceptable to you. Selective outrage i thinks!!

11.03am [twitter handle deleted] What about the ink cartridges! was that okay? Hard to take SF being moralistic!! Its not their thing!

1.43pm [twitter handle deleted] knows all about killing given the amount of people Sinn Féin Reps killed over the years. #jeanmcconville

Wednesday, Apr 18, 12.39pm [twitter handle deleted] Ordinary working class people who have guns stuck in their face by your friends. they are the ones terrorised.

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