Belfast Telegraph

Tweet storm DUP man remains defiant

By Lesley Houston

A DUP politician who used a social network site to welcome the Tyrone GAA team's defeat in the Ulster Championship has defended his controversial remarks.

Ian McCrea, Assembly Member for Mid-Ulster, sparked a tirade of criticism following a tweet that congratulated Donegal on their victory over Tyrone in Sunday's Ulster semi-final.

He tweeted on Sunday evening: "Great to see Tyrone beat in the Ulster semi's today hope Donegal beat Londonderry in the final to keep the celebrations out of Mid Ulster." Later defending himself from the condemnation that swiftly followed, Mr McCrea, who represents both Tyrone and Derry, tweeted that his desire to see both county sides lose was "only to avoid thousands of pounds of public money being wasted on civic receptions".

Yesterday the DUP insisted Mr McCrea, a married man with three children and the son of South Antrim MP William McCrea, would not be commenting publicly on the issue. Tweets continued to flow yesterday as Twitter account holders expressed "disgust" at his "daft" and "shameful" comments.

Sinn Fein Assembly Member Barry McElduff, from the neighbouring West Tyrone constituency, tweeted: "More to be pitied than pilloried, Ian McCrea."

Meanwhile, chairperson of Tyrone GAA Ciaran Mac Lochlainn said they did not want to be drawn into "anything political".

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