Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley says he is 'genuinely sorry' for controversial social media post

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley

A SINN Féin TD last night said he was "genuinely sorry" for a controversial social media post describing the Narrow Water killings in Co Down as a lesson to "slow learners" about the cost of "occupying Ireland".

Brian Stanley told the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that his "tweet fell below the standards, not just of what we expect from each other, but also what I expect from myself as a member of the Dáil".

He added: "And for that I am genuinely sorry".

It was Mr Stanley's first comment since he posted the controversial tweet on Saturday celebrating two historical IRA attacks on the British army.

Writing on the centenary of the Kilmichael ambush in 1920, he told his 3,700 followers: "Kilmicheal (sic) (1920) and Narrow Water (1979) the 2 IRA operations that taught the elective of (the) British army and the establishment the cost of occupying Ireland. Pity for everyone they were such slow learners".

The tweet received widespread condemnation from across the political landscape, including DUP leader Arlene Foster who has written to the chair of the Dail about it.

But Mr Stanley, who is chairman of the PAC, also said yesterday: "I also want to apologise to all my colleagues for the position I put you all in.

"We need to be able to talk about the past in a way that is honest to our beliefs, but also doesn't deepen division or cause hurt."

Earlier this week, Mary Lou McDonald said she would not remove Mr Stanley as chairman of an Oireachtas committee over his controversial tweet.

She said he was very apologetic, adding that it was a "regretful" attempt to drawn comparison between two separate incidents.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news