Wednesday 7 December 2016

Fury of SF Minister: Michael McDowell’s a gobsh***

GEORGE JACKSON

Published 22/09/2011 | 13:10

Sinn Fein' Caral Ni Chuilin is the Arts Minister in the Northern Assembly
Former Justice Minister McDowell. Photo: Collins

A SINN FEIN Minister in Northern Ireland has apologised for calling Michael McDowell a complete gobsh*** on twitter.

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Arts Minister, Caral Ni Chuilin, who is also responsible for language diversity, was incensed by former Justice Minister McDowell’s attack on Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness on RTE’S Frontline programme on Monday night.



She tweeted: “Yes, get the picture and white sheets and burning crosses when I listen to McDowell who is a complete gobsh***. I think McDowell would even annoy you! It's certainly worth a watch, Pat Kenny's not a great presenter, so make your own mind up.”



But yesterday Ms Ni Chuilin again tweeted: “Need to be careful on Twitter, in danger of being satirical, witty, angry, analytic, funny, emotional, wry, critical etc — not ministerial.”



Initially the minister refused to comment to reporters about her tweets. Her spokesperson referred reporters to the departmental Press office, which later released the statement: “Minister Ni Chuilin manages her Twitter account herself and it represents her own views, as is usual with individual tweets.”



However, as she left Derry's Tower Museum following yesterday's archival event, the minister was pressed by reporters on her tweets.



“It is a bit of a non-story, isn't it,” she said. When asked if she would be apologising to Mr. McDowell for calling him “a complete gobsh***”, Ms Ni Chuilin raised her hands and said: “Okay, I apologise.’’



She was then driven away in her ministerial car down a one-way street — going in the wrong direction.



Earlier this year Ms Ni Chuilin was criticised for appointing a convicted IRA killer as her political adviser.



Mary McArdle was part of an armed IRA gang which ambushed Magistrate Tom Travers and his family as they left Mass at Derryvolgie Avenue in south Belfast in 1984.



Mr Travers' 22-year-old daughter Mary was killed in the attack. Ms McArdle (46), who was convicted of the killing, served 14 years in prison, where one of her cellmates was Caral Ni Chuilin.

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