Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster says 'shame' on Sinn Fein MP for 'inhuman' bread video on anniversary of Kingsmill massacre

DUP leader Arlene Foster has condemned a Sinn Fein MP for a "bizarre" video deemed insensitive to the victims of the Kingsmill massacre.

In the video, posted to Mr McElduff's Twitter feed just after midnight on Friday morning, he is seen walking with a loaf of Kingmill bread on his head.

The Sinn Fein representative then says: "I'm in the Classic Service Station here, but I'm just wondering - where does McCullough's keep the bread?"

Friday marked the 42nd anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre, in which the IRA murdered 10 Protestant workmen at Kingsmill in south Armagh.

Barry McElduff has since deleted the video and apologised on his Twitter feed, saying it was never his "intention to offend anyone who has suffered grievously".

Mr McElduff also said he had "not realised or imagined for a second any possible link between product brand name and Kingsmill Anniversary".

Writing on Twitter, DUP leader Arlene Foster said: "Kingsmill victims were shot by the IRA after being asked their religion.

"Shame on any elected rep who posted that inhuman video. I feel sorry for IRA victims & West Tyrone who have McElduff as their MP.

"All murder was wrong. Glorifying any murderer is sickening. Mocking is depraved."

In a tweet on Saturday evening, PSNI Superintendent Emma Bond said: “Police have received a number of reports of a post on a social media platform, made by a local public representative. Enquiries are ongoing."

Responding to the video, DUP MLA for Newry and Armagh William Irwin said: "Yesterday [Friday] was a difficult day for the families of the ten men murdered at Kingsmill. They held a small dignified service at the memorial for the families.  They continue to grieve in the absence of justice.

"The Sinn Fein leadership must give an explanation as to why their Member of Parliament would post such a bizarre video. Was it tomfoolery or a blatant insult to innocent victims? The timing and brand of bread raises many questions about the motivation behind this video.

"Given Sinn Fein’s repeated insensitivity to victims and glorification of terrorists, PIRA victims throughout the United Kingdom have interpreted this video as a calculated and deliberate insult."

He added that while Mr McElduff "may undoubtedly be guilty of both ignorance and stupidity, neither justifies or explains his behaviour".

UUP Councillor David Taylor called for Mr McElduff to consider his position, and said the action made him unfit to be a public representative.

"I pose this question to Mr McElduff and to Sinn Fein - where is the respect shown to the families of the victims of the Kingsmills Massacre with disgusting actions like this?" he said.

“This provides clear evidence of Sinn Féin’s real attitude towards the victims of republican violence and towards unionism in general."

Co Armagh victims campaigner Pastor Barrie Halliday, who on Friday led the service for those killed in the Kingsmill massacre, called on Barry McElduff to resign, calling his position "untenable".

Green Party leader Steven Agnew said Mr McElduff had been misguided in his actions.

"Whether deliberate or not, these antics have sent shockwaves through a community that is grieving for its loved ones on the 42nd anniversary of the Kingsmill killings,” he said.

 "I am glad to see that he has quickly apologised, but he should have known better."

Writing on Facebook, IRA victim's sister Ann Travers - who's sister Mary was shot dead by the IRA in 1984 - said Mr McElduff had "demonstrated the Trojan Horse" and that she hoped "all of those manipulated by your party's dulcit [sic] tones and vote for you, open their eyes and become more mindful".

Representatives from the SDLP have also condemned the video.

MLA Daniel McCrossan said: "Barry McElduff styles himself as a class clown but clearly this time his comments have, deliberately or not, crossed a line. It’s right that he has apologised.

“Mr McElduff clearly gave no thought to the Kingsmills victims.

Newry and Armagh MLA Justin McNulty said: "The picture and video posted by Barry McElduff was totally unacceptable.

"At this time of year at the Anniversaries of Kingsmill and the Reavey Brothers, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims."

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