Friday 20 July 2018

'He should be sacked' - Brother of Kingsmill victim slams Sinn Féin politician's 'insincere' apology

Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre. Picture: PA
Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre. Picture: PA

Amy Molloy, Niall O'Connor and David Young

The brother of a man who was killed in the Kingsmill massacre has hit out at a Sinn Féin politician's three-month suspension, saying: "He should be sacked, at the very least."

Colin Worton slammed Sinn Féin's refusal to sack West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff for his mocking of the sectarian murders of 10 Protestants in 1976.

He described Mr McElduff's apology as "not sincere and not from the heart" and said the three-month suspension is merely a "paid holiday."

"I believe he has been caught out and seeing the backlash he is backpedaling and is trying to save himself and Sinn Féin," Mr Worton told Newstalk Breakfast.

"At the very least, he should be sacked. I know if they sacked him there would be an equally sick individual taking his place."

Mr McElduff posted a social media video of himself with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of one of the worst events of The Troubles.

Colin Worton described the hurt his family has experienced after his brother's death.

"I always expected to see my brother come home... It has ruined my family. Up until recently we didn't talk about it because the pain is even still more common today than it has been in the past.

"The pain you would see on my mother's face and the woman is 90. She doesn't deserve this."

Both Fine Gael and the Labour Party expressed their shock after the party's Northern leader Michelle O'Neill announced that Mr McElduff will be suspended for three months and will remain on full pay.

Mr McElduff attended a meeting with party bosses in west Belfast yesterday.

Speaking afterwards, Ms O'Neill said the tweet was "ill-judged and indefensible" but insisted she did not believe it was intentionally malicious.

She also confirmed that her party colleague would continue to be paid his Sinn Féin party salary during his suspension.

Mr McElduff said he accepted the sanction imposed by the leadership.

However, he insisted the contentious post was not meant as a reference to the sectarian murders of 10 workmen at the village of Kingsmill.

"Although I genuinely meant no offence, I accept that my actions were ill-judged and, while unintended, caused deep and unnecessary hurt and pain to the Kingsmill families," he said.

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