Saturday 24 September 2016

The party doth protest too much, methinks

Published 19/08/2016 | 02:30

Daithi McKay. Photo: Tom Burke
Daithi McKay. Photo: Tom Burke

So Sinn Féin suddenly wants us to believe it has lone wolves operating within its highly disciplined organisation. The party's Northern Ireland Assembly member, Daithí McKay, has resigned as an MLA for North Antrim after revelations he had been involved in 'coaching' unionist campaigner Jamie Bryson who was appearing as a witness before a Stormont Finance Committee inquiry into Nama property sales that McKay was chairing.

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The saga contributed to First Minister Peter Robinson resigning after allegations over an alleged Stg£7m bribe to enable an American investment firm to buy a Nama property portfolio in Northern Ireland.

The actions of a Sinn Féin MLA can now be viewed as orchestrating the undermining of the First Minister and the power-sharing executive.

An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin's Pravda, declares that Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness "denies categorically that Sinn Féin knew of actions".

McGuinness says the allegations surrounding McKay are "profoundly disturbing" and says neither he nor any other party personnel had any knowledge of any such contact with Bryson.

The party doth protest too much, methinks.

Any observers of the culture within Sinn Féin will question whether it is credible that a senior MLA - who was chairing a committee where explosive claims were being made that would rock the foundations of the government - was acting alone in seeking to place the unionist First Minister at the heart of corruption.

The resignation of McKay can't be the last act from Sinn Féin in addressing such questions. And this saga will certainly reiterate the suspicions of its Assembly partners.

Irish Independent

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