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DUP's Gregory Campbell accused of mocking Irish language after 'crass and despicable' social media post

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Gregory Campbell has repeated his comments on the Irish language from 2014.

Gregory Campbell has repeated his comments on the Irish language from 2014.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Gregory Campbell has repeated his comments on the Irish language from 2014.

Veteran DUP MP Gregory Campbell has been accused of mocking the Irish language after posting what's been described as a "crass, offensive and despicable" comment on social media echoing his "curry my yoghurt" remarks from six years ago.

The East Londonderry MP made the remarks on his Facebook page on Sunday in relation to a BBC programme about a suspected Nazi spy who lived in Donegal during the Second World War.

He said: "I'm informed that BBC 2 NI had a programme on tonight about a suspected German spy who lived in the RoI during the war. The humourous bit was that he was supposed to have spoken Irish with a German accent.

"I vill not be tempted to ask vot is dis curried yoghurt mein herr."

In 2014 Mr Campbell was barred from addressing the Northern Ireland Assembly for a day after making similar remarks at Stormont.

He began an address to the assembly with "Curry my yoghurt can coca coalyer".

He was aping the Irish "go raibh maith agat, Ceann Comhairle," which translates as "thank you, Speaker" and is used by some MLAs in the chamber.

Mr Campbell refused to apologise for his words in 2014 and was criticised by then Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin for a "breach of standards".

He later joked about the comment at a DUP conference that year. He opened his conference speech saying it was always good to start the day with a healthy breakfast while holding a carton of yoghurt.

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Gregory Campbell posted the comment on his Facebook page.

Gregory Campbell posted the comment on his Facebook page.

Gregory Campbell posted the comment on his Facebook page.

There's has been anger over his latest comments on social media. While many under his post commented with laughing emojis others asked why he thought he should mock the language.

Sinn Fein MLA Emma Sheerin said Mr Campbell was attempting to mock the Irish language and identity with the post.

“Comments posted on social media by DUP MP Gregory Campbell attempting to mock the Irish language and identity are crass, offensive and despicable," The Mid Ulster MLA said

“Sadly, this is not the first time Gregory Campbell has insulted the Irish language community with his offensive anti-Irish mockery, these comments are reminiscent of 2014.

“When the Assembly was restored in January, DUP leader Arlene Foster said identities should be respected. Perhaps Gregory Campbell needs to reflect on the words of his party leader.

“It is long past the time that disrespect like this is allowed to go unchallenged and time the DUP genuinely embraced equality and respect.”

The DUP has been approached for comment.

SDLP MLA Cara Hunter called for Mr Campbell to apologise for the comments.

“This is not the first time that Gregory Campbell MP has made crass and offensive comments of this nature, which are intended to insult the Irish language community," the East Londonderry MLA said.

"It is not the first time and likely not the last time. However, as unsurprising as these comments are, it is important that they are challenged.”

“Gregory Campbell should remember that he was recently re-elected to serve the whole community, right across East Derry. He should apologise for these hurtful remarks and reflect on his tone going forward.”

Belfast Telegraph