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Unionists 'disrespected' by Sinn Fein Northern Ireland tweet, says councillor

Sinn Fein’s Mid Ulster councillor Niamh Doris
Sinn Fein’s Mid Ulster councillor Niamh Doris

By Lisa Smyth

Sinn Fein has been accused of "blatant disrespect" after one of its councillors said hearing the term Northern Ireland was akin to the sound of nails on a chalk board.

Mid Ulster councillor Niamh Doris made the comment online in a tweet which said: "The term 'Northern Ireland' is like nails on a chalk board to me."

The post appeared on her Twitter feed on May 8, days after she was re-elected to the district council.

Her privacy settings have since been changed, meaning only followers can view her Twitter account, but a screenshot of the post shows it had received more than 790 likes and had been retweeted 76 times.

DUP councillor Kyle Black, who was recently elected to Mid Ulster, yesterday branded it a "petty stunt" - insisting it showed Sinn Fein's "blatant disrespect for Northern Ireland".

"Such disrespect towards the unionist community was also seen recently when their party leader Mary Lou McDonald paraded in New York with a banner stating 'England get out of Ireland'," he said.

"There is a common theme - Sinn Fein talk a lot about respect, integrity and equality yet fail to practise what they preach. Where is Sinn Fein's respect for the unionist community? This is nothing more than cheap political nonsense as we approach the centenary of Northern Ireland's creation."

He added: "While people are worried about the state of our roads, more jobs and the prospect of GP surgeries closing, Sinn Fein choose yet again to engage in petty stunts. They are blocking the restoration of Stormont and they need to understand the real issues facing people in their community. This is where their focus should be, dealing with issues that impact everyone in our community."

His party colleague, Councillor Clement Cuthbertson said the tweet is "just typical" of Sinn Fein.

"They preach about equality and respect, yet continue to demonstrate their own intolerance of others by repeatedly attacking the name of the country they live in," said Mr Cuthbertson.

In response a Sinn Fein spokesman said: "No one should be surprised that we, as Irish republicans, want to see a new and united Ireland for all."

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