Political news

Unionist call for action against Máirtín Ó Muilleoir over Kingsmill retweet

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir retweeted Barry McEduff's controversial video. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

SINN Féin northern leader Michelle O'Neill has said there will be no further action against Máirtín Ó Muilleoir for retweeting Barry McElduff's Kingsmill video.

There were calls last night for Ms O'Neill to take "meaningful action" against the South Belfast MLA.

Mr Ó Muilleoir said last week he had believed the controversial social media post was "wholly apolitical".

"Once it was pointed out that the tweet had offended and hurt people and that Barry had rightly deleted his tweet I retweeted his apology and, of course, apologise unreservedly for the pain and hurt caused by my retweet," he said.

The former finance minister and Belfast mayor did not face any disciplinary measures, however.

Ms O'Neill confirmed yesterday that she had spoken to Mr Ó Muilleoir about his use of Twitter.

"I spoke with Máirtín, who needs to consider his social media – he needs to be more responsible with his social media and that is the matter dealt with," she said.

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DUP MP Sammy Wilson used Twitter to call for sanctions against his Sinn Féin successor at the Department of Finance.

"Serious questions remain for the Sinn Féin leadership," the East Antrim representative said.

"Why did they not sack Barry immediately and why have no sanctions been brought by the party against Martin O’Muilleior (sic)."

Ulster Unionist MLA Steve Aiken also said Mr McElduff had "paid the price for his actions" but Mr O Muilleoir had "thus far escaped censure".

He said the normally prolific social media user had been "uncharacteristically quiet in the past week".

"Michelle O‘Neill must not think that the departure of Barry McElduff is the end of this matter," the South Antrim representative said.

"If she is remotely interested in equality, rights and respect then she needs to take meaningful action against her South Belfast MLA – Barry McElduff has resigned over the video he created, so what punishment is being applied to Martin O’Muilleoir (sic) who chose to retweet it?”

Mr Aiken said a "mere warning to be more responsible on social media" was inadequate.

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