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Anger over Gregory Campbell's 'offensive' McGuinness photo warning comment

MP brands Irish festival 'Gasyard failure'

By Jonathan Bell

Sinn Fein has branded MP Gregory Campbell as "crass, offensive and lacking in respect" over comments made by the MP about an Irish festival in Derry featuring an exhibition on the late Martin McGuinness.

Posting on Facebook, Mr Campbell described the Gasyard Feile as a "failure" and that he was not sure if there was a "warning for those of a nervous disposition" at the entrance to a photo exhibition for the late Sinn Fein leader.

"The Gasyard failure should be a real bundle of laughs this year," he said.

"First Marty's photos (don't know if there will be the obligatory warning at start in case those of a nervous disposition are viewing) then the serial election loser George (the cat) Galloway.

"Roll up, roll up get your tickets please!"

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said the comments were at odds with the outreach made by the DUP leadership toward Irish language speakers.

"These comments are another example of the DUP's Gregory Campbell’s total and utter disrespect for the Irish language with his offensive comments about the Gasyard Feile," he said.

"The Gasyard Feile is a hugely successful and inclusive community festival, now in its 25th year, which promotes community health and wellbeing, international awareness and human rights and enables dialogue and discussion."

Previous Mr Campbell was censured in the Assembly when he mocked the Irish language. He later made his infamous "curry my yoghurt" speech at a DUP conference. Just last month senior DUP figure Edwin Poots spoke Irish at an event in Donegal.

Mr McCartney added: "Sadly, this is not the first time Gregory Campbell has insulted the Irish language community with his offensive anti-Irish mockery.

"His arrogant and ill-informed comments are ironic as the Feile also includes an event with Linda Ervine looking at the relationship between the Irish language and the Protestant, unionist and loyalist communities.

"His disgraceful comments and mockery are also at odds with recent comments made by the DUP leadership following meetings with sections of the Irish language community.

"Gregory Campbell also showed a lack of respect for others with his crass and offensive comments about the late Martin McGuinness and clearly at odds with his party leader’s attendance at Martin’s funeral.”

Last month Arlene Foster condemned the placing of a Martin McGuinness effigy on a bonfire in east Belfast as "wrong".

Gregory Campbell and the DUP have been asked for a comment.

The Gasyard failure should be a real bundle of laughs this year. First Marty's photos (don't know if there will be the...

Posted by Gregory Campbell on Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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