Belfast Telegraph

Former Stormont minister O Muilleoir is slammed for retweeting controversial post

By Claire O'Boyle

Calls came last night for Sinn Fein's Mairtin O Muilleoir to be sanctioned for his part in the Kingsmill stunt.

The former finance minister had retweeted Barry McElduff's controversial online post, but later deleted it.

Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie said the MLA was "savvy enough" to understand the significance of the tweet.

The Upper Bann MLA said: "Mairtin O Muilleoir is a smart man, he must have known there was significance for him to retweet that.

"To blindly retweet someone's post is a particularly stupid thing to do without checking if there was any form of significance. If he did check, then he should have taken his colleague to task over it.

"By retweeting the post he just compounded the gross stupidity of what Barry McElduff did. He should have been sanctioned in exactly the same way as McElduff."

However, Sinn Fein said it did not intend to discipline Mr O Muilleoir. And the former minister himself added: "I saw Barry's tweet as being wholly apolitical and retweeted it on that basis.

"Once it was pointed out that the tweet had offended and hurt people and that Barry had rightly deleted his tweet I retweeted his apology and, of course, apologise unreservedly for the pain and hurt caused by my retweet."

The party has accepted this and sees no need for further action.

But victims campaigner Kenny Donaldson agreed that Mr O Muilleoir should face sanction.

"It is not plausible for Mairtin O Muilleoir to suggest that he retweeted on the basis that what Barry McElduff had initially tweeted was apolitical.

"His seniority within the party should not protect him from being held accountable."

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