Iris Robinson remains under 24-hour suicide watch in hospital, the DUP has revealed, accusing the media of attempting to “pursue her to the grave”.
Threatening legal action, the party said the wife of First Minister Peter Robinson is still receiving acute psychiatric care “as a |result” of “ruthless lies”. And while denying that the former MP, Assembly member and councillor is planning a Tiger Woods-style public act of contrition, the party said Mrs Robinson’s story “will be told”.
A statement issued after discussions with the Robinson family clearly linked her ongoing treatment to the continuing torrent of media stories surrounding her fall from public life.
“The truth is that Iris remains in hospital under acute psychiatric care and under 24-hour |suicide watch as a result of the unremitting and ruthless lies and attacks against her,” it said.
The statement came after police investigating Mrs Robinson removed a number of files from Castlereagh Borough Council headquarters during a detailed search on Saturday.
And it emerged only hours before that councillors are expected to vote to hold a costly by-election to replace Mrs Robinson. Even though Mrs Robinson is no longer a party member, the DUP went on the offensive after the publication of a book — called The First Lady of Lust — in the Sunday Life and further articles in the Sunday World.
“After several months of relentless smear and invention the media and press continue publishing stories that have no basis in fact about Iris Robinson,” the statement said.
“There is no element of truth in these claims. The truth is that Iris remains in hospital under acute psychiatric care and under 24-hour suicide watch as a result of the unremitting and ruthless lies and attacks against her.
“However, several Sunday newspapers have continued to print material which is complete fabrication and defamation,” claimed the DUP in its statement.
“As legal action will result from many of those reports and articles, the family have in most cases avoided commenting.”