SF blasted over McElduff affair

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th January 2017 -  Jonathan Buckely, DUP candidate for Upper Bann.'Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th January 2017 - Jonathan Buckely, DUP candidate for Upper Bann.'Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

A DUP MLA lashed out at his Sinn Fein Upper Bann colleague on his silence over the Barry McElduff affair.

Jonny Buckley described the West Tyrone MP’s video on the anniversary of the Kingsmill Massacre as ‘vile and deplorable.

Mr Buckley said the video ‘mocked victims and has understandably caused outraged amongst the entire community’.

“To make light of the slaughter of ten protestant workmen, simply because of their religion, is unforgivable. Like many, I was horrified to watch Barry McElduff add to the grief of victims by insinuating he meant no offence.

“Barry McElduff should hang his head in shame.

“His actions have said equally as much about the Sinn Fein leadership, whose withering silence for over 48 hours told us all we need to know about their real agenda.

“The deafening silence from the local SF MLA, John O’Dowd, will come as no surprise.

“When he next preaches ‘respect, honesty and integrity’, we know that for Sinn Fein it’s their same old mantra of ‘ourselves alone’.”

In response SF MLA John O’Dowd said: “Michelle O’Neill met with Barry McElduff and made it clear to Barry that his tweet was ill-judged, indefensible and caused hurt and pain to the victims of Kingsmill. That it falls far short of the standard expected of SF representatives and our members.

“Given the seriousness of the issue Barry was suspended for three months. Barry has apologised for the unintended hurt which his tweet caused. He deeply regrets making such a post, and he accepts he has made an error of judgement. I don’t believe that Barry’s actions were calculated or deliberately intended to be malicious.

“SF recognise the hurt this has caused to the Kingsmill families and wholeheartedly apologise for any distress.”