Assembly Election

Gregory Campell's Facebook ‘hunger striker' remarks about Raymond McCartney cause fury

Martin McGuinness with Raymond McCartney at the NI Assembly election count at the Foyle arena in Derry. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin 
Jennifer Maloney

SINN Féin has called for the DUP's Gregory Campbell to withdraw remarks he made about Raymond McCartney, in which he said he was "more successful at electioneering that he was at hunger striking".

The East Derry MP made the comments on social media over the weekend about the newly elected Foyle MLA.

Mr Campbell wrote that he was "breaking the habit of a lifetime to send best wishes to Raymond McCartney".

"Because he's a bit more successful at electioneering than he was at hunger striking," he added.

But Sinn Fein's Pat Sheehan, who was also a hunger striker, said on Sunday that the MP should "withdraw his remarks immediately".

He branded the comments as "vile and disgusting".

This is not the first time that comments by Mr Campbell have irked Sinn Fein.

In November 2014, he famously used the phrase "curry my yoghurt" in the Assembly chamber during a speech on the Irish language. 

He was barred from addressing the assembly for a day after he failed to apologise for mocking the language.

A row was sparked after he began an address to the assembly with: "Curry my yoghurt can coca coalyer", in imitation of the Irish sentence "go raibh maith agat, ceann comhairle", which translates as "thank you, speaker".

And in March 2015, Mr Campbell was barred from speaking in the assembly for the second time in five months after he yawned loudly while a Sinn Féin MLA spoke in Irish.

Mr Campbell was branded "juvenile" and "blatantly disrespectful" for twice yawning during a speech in Irish by Caitríona Ruane. 

 

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Assembly Election