Press bar at Sinn Fein Derry meeting to allow public 'full and frank' discussion
The Press were not allowed to cover an entire Sinn Fein public meeting in Derry to allow those in attendance to have an "open and frank" discussion, MLA Raymond McCartney has explained.
Sinn Fein organised a meeting in the City Hotel on Thursday night publicising it as open to the public.
In its media briefing the party said Press were "welcome during the speeches at the start of the event".
After the first 10 minutes which included Michelle O'Neill's key note address, the media were "told to leave," according to those reporters in attendance.
The Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said this was to allow for a "full and frank discussion" with the public.
However, Conor Heaney - a former special adviser to the late Martin McGuinness while he was deputy First Minister - said some media should have been allowed to remain.
Sinn Fein have been asked for a comment.
During the election campaign DUP leader Arlene Foster refused to take questions from the Press at her party's manifesto launch, blaming "man flu".
Applause for Martin McGuinness at SF public meeting in Derry. That's all I got to hear as media then asked to leave. Why? @sinnfeinireland— Louise Doyle (@LouiseDoyleDN) April 6, 2017
@PaulGosling1 Media are asked to leave (not media commentators) so public can speak freely. You should have stayed bit of a misunderstanding— Conor Heaney (@conorhdfm) April 6, 2017
If people raise concern how we engage, then we should respond. No? You can speak "off the record" why not the public?— Raymond McCartney (@RaymondMcCartn1) April 7, 2017
Huge gathering at City Hotel in Derry for lively discussion on Equality,Brexit,the Institutions,Respect and Acht na Gaeilge among others.— Cathal Ó hOisín (@CathalOhOisin) April 6, 2017