Northern Ireland news

Lord Kilclooney asks Alliance's Jackie Coade why Twitter name ends with 'ie' instead of 'uk'

Lord Kilclooney made the remarks in a Twitter chat with Alliance rep Jackie Coade
Brendan Hughes

A UNIONIST peer has faced ridicule for appearing to question whether a woman called Jackie is an Irish nationalist because her Twitter name ends with 'ie'.

Ex-UUP deputy leader John Taylor, now cross-bench peer Lord Kilclooney, was responding online to Alliance council election candidate Jackie Coade.

Ms Coade, who uses the Twitter profile name "@jak_ie", told how she was called an "Irish nationalist because my user name ended in 'ie' rather than 'uk'".

She added: "When I pointed out that my name was Jackie I got called a smart arse. Ever feel like you're the only sane person in a weird world?"

Responding, Lord Kilclooney tweeted: "Being called names is deplorable but you still have to explain why you selected a user name 'ie' rather than 'uk'."

Ms Coade, an election candidate in Armagh, replied: "Because my name is JACKIE! It ends in IE."

But Lord Kilclooney said: "Not many people will believe that! A very poor Alliance-type explanation."

The exchange last week was met with exasperation from many Twitter users.

TV presenter Jeremy Vine shared a picture of the exchange, adding: ?"You have to worry when a person whose name is Jackie gets accused of being an Irish nationalist because of the 'ie' at the end of her Twitter name."

It's not the first time Lord Kilclooney has caused controversy on Twitter.

Last year he deleted a post on Twitter in which he called taoiseach Leo Varadkar a "typical Indian".

His tweet was in response to a news article in which the DUP accused Mr Varadkar of "poor manners" for not notifying local reps of a trip north.

Lord Kilclooney later admitted it was a mistake but rejected allegations of racism, insisting he was "pro-Indian".

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