Belfast Telegraph

Local Election 2019

Brother of Kingsmill victim saddened by McElduff's return

Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff celebrates with his daughter Niamh
Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff celebrates with his daughter Niamh
The image from Barry McElduff's Twitter video
Colin Worton

By David Young

The brother of a man murdered in the Kingsmill massacre has said he is saddened by the return of former Sinn Fein MP Barry McElduff to political life.

Coin Worton, whose brother Kenneth was one of 10 Protestants shot dead in the 1976 sectarian massacre, was speaking after Mr McElduff was elected as a councillor on Fermanagh & Omagh District Council.

Mr Worton's late brother is believed to have shielded a Catholic textile factory colleague after their minibus was stopped by gunmen in the merciless attack.

For a full breakdown visit our Election hub and check out the results from each council: Antrim and Newtownabbey --- Ards and North Down --- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon --- Belfast --- Causeway Coast and Glens --- Derry and Strabane --- Fermanagh and Omagh --- Lisburn and Castlereagh --- Mid and East Antrim --- Mid Ulster --- Newry, Mourne and Down

Mr McElduff was forced to resign his Westminster seat last year amid an outcry after he posted a video of himself balancing a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head.

The video was posted on his Twitter account on the anniversary of the Kingsmill atrocity.

Mr Worton said yesterday he was not surprised that Mr McElduff had been re-elected - but added that he was saddened by the level of support he had received from voters.

"We had thought that this might happen. From him standing down as an MP, we knew that it wouldn't be long until he re-emerged again to pick up where he had left off," Mr Worton said last night.

The Sinn Fein representative received 900 first preference votes in the Omagh DEA - just 10 short of the quota.

He was elected on the second count.

Turning to the level of support Mr McElduff had received at the ballot box, Mr Worton told the Belfast Telegraph: "That's the sad thing.

"It really is sad that he came back in such a short period of time with a big support. That is sad. But I do believe in democracy, so I have to grin and bear it.

"There's not much I can do. But I am very sad for the nationalist and republican people, if that's the best that's out there for them to vote for. I think it reflects more on them than it does on me."

After his election was confirmed, Mr McElduff said: "Today is about this election.

"I have said my piece, I did so with as much dignity as I could.

"I resigned as an MP, I apologised for the unintended, and, I stress, the unintended consequences and I took full responsibility for my own actions.

"In a way, I think that I showed high standards in public office and I'm back. I'm re-emerging as an elected representative for the people of Omagh, the county town of Tyrone."

Last month, Mr McElduff suggested it was unfair that he had been forced to quit his role as West Tyrone MP after his Kingsmill loaf video stunt sparked fury among relatives of the victims.

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