Wednesday 18 October 2017

SF's Andrews attacked 'political dynasties'

Sinn Fein candidate Chris Andrews. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Fein candidate Chris Andrews. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Sinn Féin candidate Chris Andrews said the public were "sick of political families" - despite coming from one of the country's most high-profile dynasties.

A dossier of tweets he sent using a fake account showed how he lashed out at dynasties, including his own.

Mr Andrews is a grandson of Todd Andrews, who was heavily involved in the early days of Fianna Fáil.

His father Niall was a Fianna Fáil TD and his uncle David served as Minister for Foreign Affairs, while his cousin Barry is also a former minister.

Chris Andrews is no longer a member of Fianna Fáil, having quit the party in 2012 after it emerged that he was using a Twitter account under the identity @brianformerff to criticise colleagues.

He was unmasked as being behind the tweets after a sophisticated investigation by the husband of one of his targets.

A year later, he joined Sinn Féin, despite having attacked the party and Gerry Adams over their links to the IRA.

The report compiled as part of the investigation into his Twitter activity shows that in April 2012 he sent a message to the daughter of former MEP Eoin Ryan, saying: "The public are sick of political families and public sent out that message to the Lenihans, Andrews and the Aherns."

He added: "And instead of listening to the public and FF diehards ignore public and elect another of the Ryan dynasty!! No real change!"

In recent weeks, he has been described as a "hypocrite" by the family of innocent murder victim Joseph Rafferty.

Mr Andrews had helped the family in their campaign to get justice and attended meetings with gardaí where a man closely associated with Sinn Féin was named as the suspect.

The candidate says he is still willing to help the Rafferty family in any way he can.

Irish Independent

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