Belfast Telegraph

Mairtin O Muilleoir quizzed over Kingsmill tweet

Sinn Fein’s Mairtin O Muilleoir retweeted a video which angered victims of the republican shooting.

Mairtin O Muilleoir was finance minister in the Executive from 2016 until the collapse of powersharing. (Liam McBurney/PA)
Mairtin O Muilleoir was finance minister in the Executive from 2016 until the collapse of powersharing. (Liam McBurney/PA)

A former minister in the Stormont Executive has been questioned by police investigating social media activity.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Mairtin O Muilleoir retweeted a video posted by former West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff which angered victims of the republican Kingsmill shootings.

Mr McElduff resigned as MP for the area in January, 10 days after a controversy flared when he posted a video of himself with a Kingsmill-branded loaf on his head on the anniversary of the notorious massacre.

He insisted the video was not an intentional reference to the 1976 sectarian murders of 10 Protestant workmen by republican paramilitaries near the Co Armagh village of Kingsmill, but he acknowledged it had caused hurt and offence to victims’ families.

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Barry McElduff.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) statement said: “Police investigating complaints about a video uploaded to social media on January 6 have interviewed a 58-year-old man.”

Mr O Muilleoir said: “I can confirm I was invited to attend a short interview with the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) on a voluntary basis, and was happy to do so.

“I reiterated to the PSNI that I considered Barry McElduff’s tweet to be entirely innocent and apolitical, and retweeted on that basis.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Tim Mairs said he attended Musgrave police station in Belfast city centre voluntarily on Thursday by prior arrangement.

“A report will now be prepared for the Public Prosecution Service.”

It is understood he was interviewed about offences under communications and public order laws.

Mr O Muilleoir was finance minister in the Executive from 2016 until the collapse of powersharing last year.

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