Northern Ireland news

Barry McElduff does not rule out return to frontline politics with Sinn Féin

Barry McElduff posted a video of himself with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head

BARRY McElduff has said he has not ruled out a return to frontline politics with Sinn Féin.

The former MP, who resigned in January after posting a video of himself with a loaf on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre, insisted he never set out to be offensive but conceded that he "did cause hurt" to the relatives of the 10 Protestant workmen killed in the 1976 atrocity.

It emerged earlier this week that Mr McElduff will not be prosecuted over the controversial Twitter post.

The Carrickmore man has again offered to meet the Kingsmill families, saying he would "never do or say anything disparaging against them".

In an interview with the Ulster Herald, he said the outcry that followed his social media post was "very challenging" and that 2018 has been the "most difficult year of my life".

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"It was very challenging but I don't want to be self-indulgent because it has also equipped me to empathise with others who suffer setbacks or face challenges in life," he said.

The former West Tyrone MP, who remains a member of Sinn Féin, welcomed he Public Prosecution Service's decision not to pursue him through the courts.

"They took time to investigate this thoroughly and robustly as they said they would at the outset," he said. However, he said he feels a "sense of injustice" about how the situation was "manipulated by others".

Mr McElduff said his family had endured a "tough time" and that he now wanted to put the episode behind him.

On a potential return to politics, he said: "I am continuing to reflect on whether to re-enter and re-emerge in public or political life."

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