SINN FEIN leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill defended her handling of the Barry McElduff affair today after the MP resigned, 10 days after causing outrage.
West Tyrone MP Mr McElduff quit over his Twitter post showing him walking around a supermarket with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head, asking staff where they kept that brand.
The day was the 42nd anniversary of the massacre of 10 Protestant workers near Kingsmill in Co Armagh county by group calling itself the South Armagh Republican Action Force.
“There was no intended reference to Kingsmill in my tweet,” Mr McElduff insisted, “but I do accept that there are many people who do not believe this to be the case.”
Alan Black, who was shot 18 times at Kingsmill but was the sole survivor, said: “I am glad he has done the right thing.”
He said he had got involved in the furore “because of the hurt and disrespect shown to my friends who died at Kingsmill, but this whole thing has taken a heavy toll.”
Ms O’Neill defended her earlier decision to merely suspend the MP for three months as “proportionate.”
“Barry did cause hurt, he didn’t intend to do so,” she claimed.
Mr McElduff had resigned “so he is not a barrier toward reconciliation,” she said. “I think that sends out a strong message that Sinn Fein listen to the needs of victims.”
Mr McElduff was one of Sinn Fein’s six Westminster MPs, who refuse to take up their seats as it would require them to swear allegiance to British monarch Elizabeth Windsor.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.