Health Minister Edwin Poots has been branded "childish" in a Twitter storm about the Easter Rising commemorations.
As republicans marked the anniversary of the 1916 rebellion on Sunday, Mr Poots tweeted: "Had forgotten it is the 97th anniversary of a failed rising by subversives."
The comment – which appeared to have been posted at 5.01am on Sunday – prompted a swift backlash.
"Awesome trolling", was the response of one tweeter, named David Cochrane.
Some of the less-than-kind responses flooded in within minutes of each other.
"Unionist political leadership at its best", Chris Donnelly added.
Mr Poots could not be reached yesterday. His only response was on his Twitter page, where he said: "It would appear some nameless cyber warriors are a little touchy today."
He later added: "Interesting that tweets are of more interest to the Press than armed republicans shooting @impartialpress reportingirishstyle" – in an apparent reference to reports that shots were fired at a republican parade in Belfast's Ardoyne area over the weekend.
South Belfast MLA and SDLP health spokesman Conall McDevitt said the comment was "childish and hissy", and "unfit of a person who holds" Mr Poots' office.
"The question he needs to reflect on is if he wants to be someone who contributes to a decade of reconciliation or not," he added.