Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Sinn Fein’s double standards make it a laughing stock

The Sinn Fein Press office should, as the saying goes, have taken a reddener yesterday around lunchtime.

At precisely 1.16pm, they issued a statement announcing that John O’Dowd, the education minister, intended meeting David Ford, the justice minister to discuss the Rosemary Nelson tribunal.

In particular, he wanted to ensure that civil servants and police officers who were around at the time “are no longer in a position to repeat the disgraceful conduct outlined in the [Nelson inquiry] report”. In other words, they should be sacked, or moved, because the report found that the RUC and NIO did not take the threats against Mrs Nelson seriously enough.

None of them was charged with any offence. Sinn Fein clearly demands high |standards. Yet just 23 minutes later, the party was issuing another statement, defending its appointment of Mary McArdle as a ministerial adviser.

Ms McArdle was released under the Good Friday Agreement after being sentenced to life for murder.

Gerry Kelly made the point that ex-prisoners are entitled to employment rights.

Ms McArdle was only 19 at the time of the murder and is now 46, so he has a point.

But Sinn Fein only makes itself a laughing stock by applying a blatant double-standard.