Republic of Ireland news

Leo Varadkar condemns anti-semitic tweets sent by Sinn Féin TD

Réada Cronin's Twitter account has been made private since the tweets emerged
Aine McMahon, PA

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said tweets posted by a Sinn Féin TD before she was elected should "trouble us all".

The newly elected TD for Kildare North, Réada Cronin posted that Israel had "taken Nazism to a new level" and suggested a picture of monkeys working on computers reminded her of the Israeli embassy, the Sunday Times Ireland reported.

Ms Cronin's Twitter account has been made private since the tweets emerged and she issued a statement yesterdasy in which she "unreservedly and wholeheartedly" apologised and said the tweets were "glib" and "off-the-cuff".

This morning, Mr Varadkar said the "anti-Semitic & anti-science remarks" made by a newly-elected representative "should trouble us all".

Speaking in Dublin on Wednesday, Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty said her remarks are not in line with Sinn Fein's views and she was right to withdraw them.

When asked if Ms Cronin would face any penalty or suspension, he said: "We have protocols in relation to social media policy and these comments have been withdrawn and apologised for - some of them were before she was even a member of Sinn Féin."

Mr Doherty said: "She has apologised for them, withdrawn them and she has also made it very clear that they are not in any way, shape or form Sinn Féin's position."

When asked if there are any social media guidelines for Sinn Féin representatives, he said: "There are social media guidelines in relation to how people conduct themselves on social media. I think people can use social media in a very harmful and negative way, and that is important that does not happen.

"The key thing here is that when people make comments that are inappropriate and inexcusable that they are withdrawn and apologised for, and it is made clear that in no way they are a reflection of Sinn Féin's position.

"We do have protocols and we do have social media guidelines. There is nobody sitting in the party looking at the accounts of every single Sinn Féin member in relation to what they are saying."

Talks about government formation will also take place today, with Sinn Féin set to meet some independent TDs and smaller parties.

The leaders of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin are set to be nominated for the office of taoiseach tomorrow when the 33rd Dáil convenes.

However it is unlikely a taoiseach will be elected so parliament will adjourn.

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