Saturday 21 April 2018

'The tweets are not acceptable' - Sinn Féin respond to calls for Senator's resignation over controversial retweet

Senator Máire Devine and Austin Stack. Photo: Oireacthas.ie/Frank McGrath
Senator Máire Devine and Austin Stack. Photo: Oireacthas.ie/Frank McGrath

Sean Nolan

Sinn Féin have said they will ask Senator Máire Devine for an explanation after she retweeted a parody government account's tweet that called IRA victim Brian Stack a 'sadist'.

The tweet, from a now deleted account calling itself the 'Strategic Comms Unit', made reference to Mr Stack, calling him 'a sadist prison officer'.

Austin Stack. Photo: Frank McGrath
Austin Stack. Photo: Frank McGrath

The tweet was retweeted on Sunday by Sinn Fein Senator Maire Devine and it drew calls for her to resign or to be expelled from the party by Brian Stack's son Austin.

In a tweet, Mr Stack said: "@sinnfeinireland must immediately expel @mairedev for this disgusting tweet. No apologies will be accepted by myself or my family for this gross defaming of a man they murdered."

In a statement to Independent.ie this morning, Sinn Fein said the tweets were not acceptable.

"We will ask Senator Devine for an explanation," the statement said. "The tweets are not acceptable for a Sinn Féin elected representative. If a breach of our social media guidelines is proven then disciplinary action will follow."

Brian Stack
Brian Stack

The tweet controversy comes just 24 hours after a decision by New York mayor Bill de Blasio to name St Patrick's Day 2018 'Gerry Adams Day' was also criticised by Stack.

Mr Stack criticised the decision to honour Mr Adams who as Sinn Fein leader had supported the Provisional IRA's campaign of murder and terror for many years during the Troubles.

He said he was "revolted and hurt" by the move and asked if Mr de Blasio would dedicate next year's St Patrick's Day in honour of IRA victims.

Mr Stack's father Brian, a chief prison officer in Portlaoise, was shot in the neck in March 1983 and died 18 months later.

Senator Devine has been contacted by Independent.ie for comment.

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