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Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff questioned by PSNI over Kingsmill video

Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff posted a video of himself with a Kingsmill-branded loaf on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre
Brendan Hughes

SINN Féin's Barry McElduff was questioned by police yesterday over the Kingsmill video controversy.

Mr McElduff resigned as West Tyrone MP in January over posting on Twitter a video of himself balancing Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill atrocity.

Ten Protestant workmen were shot dead by the IRA near the south Armagh village on January 5 1976.

Mr McElduff insisted he had not realised the connection, but Kingsmill victims' relatives expressed outrage and rejected his apology.

Sinn Féin initially suspended him from party activities but Mr McElduff later resigned as MP, acknowledging the "deep and unnecessary hurt this video caused the families of the victims of Kingsmill".

The online video, which was filmed in a shop in Omagh, prompted a PSNI investigation after police received several complaints.

Mr McElduff was questioned voluntarily by police at Omagh PSNI station yesterday afternoon.

He was questioned over an alleged improper use of a public electronic communications network under the Communications Act 2003, and two alleged public order offences under the Public Order (NI) Order 1989.

Police said a report will be prepared for the Public Prosecution Service.

In a statement yesterday, Mr McElduff's solicitor Adrian O'Kane said the former Sinn Féin MP reiterated to police that he never intended to cause offence.

"Barry McElduff attended Omagh PSNI station today upon a voluntary basis at the request of police," he said.

"As per his apology of January 6 2018 to the victims of the Kingsmill atrocity, Mr McElduff reiterated to police that he in no way intended to cause offence or hurt to anyone.

"He did not realise that his social media post coincided with the Kingsmill anniversary, rather the post was spontaneous and not premeditated.

"Barry McElduff has cooperated fully with his party Sinn Féin, and police, in their investigations.

"He has resigned his seat for West Tyrone, and has no further comment to make until investigations are finalised."

Police said a 51-year-old man was interviewed by detectives investigating complaints about a video uploaded to social media in January.

In a statement PSNI detective chief superintendent Tim Mairs said: "The male attended Omagh police station voluntarily this afternoon, Thursday March 8, by prior arrangement.

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

A date for the West Tyrone MP by-election following Mr McElduff's resignation has not yet been confirmed.

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