Thursday 18 October 2018

Video: Sinn Fein politician apologises over 'Kingsmill loaf' video on massacre anniversary

A screenshot from the video posted to Sinn Fein politician Barry McElduff's timeline
A screenshot from the video posted to Sinn Fein politician Barry McElduff's timeline
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A SINN Fein MP has been accused of “poking fun” at the victims of the Kingsmill massacre after he posed with a loaf of bread on his head.

In a video posted on Twitter last night, Barry McElduff is seen walking around a service station with a batch of Kingsmill  bread resting on his head. Friday, January 5 was also the  41st anniversary of the massacre which saw 10 innocent workers gunned down in cold blood by the Provisional IRA.

The video incensed unionists and Mr McElduff was forced to delete the video and apologise for the offence he caused the families of the Kingsmill victims.

"Had not realised or imagined for a second any possible link between product brand name and Kingsmill anniversary," he said.

However, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the massacre was “one of the most heinous and nakedly sectarian atrocities of the Troubles” and described Mr McElduff’s behaviour as “nauseating”.

“I remember the occasion well, it was a horrific act of depravity where victims were removed from their work van at gun point and shot dead in cold blood after they were asked their religion,” he told the Sunday Independent.

“To poke fun on the anniversary in the way that Sinn Fein has done is nauseating,” he added.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the video was “inhuman”.

“All murder was wrong. Glorifying any murderer is sickening. Mocking is depraved,” Ms Foster wrote on Twitter.

UUP Councillor David Taylor said Mr McElduff should resign as the video showed he was not fit for office.

“I pose this question to Mr McElduff and to Sinn Fein - where is the respect shown to the families of the victims of the Kingsmills Massacre with disgusting actions like this?” Mr Taylor said.

“This provides clear evidence of Sinn Féin’s real attitude towards the victims of republican violence and towards unionism in general,” he added. DUP MLA for Newry & Armagh William Irwin called on the Sinn Fein leadership to clarify and apologise for the bizarre video posted by Mr McElduff.

“The Sinn Fein leadership must give an explanation as to why their Member of Parliament would post such a bizarre video. Was it tomfoolery or a blatant insult to innocent victims? The timing and brand of bread raises many questions about the motivation behind this video,” he said.

On 5 January 1976, a  mini bus carrying 11 protestant workers returning home from a days work in a textile factory was stopped by armed gunmen. The men were lined up outside the vehicle and sprayed with 136 rounds of bullets at close range from automatic rifles.

At the time, the IRA denied it was behind the callous and brutal murder of a group of workmen returning from a day’s work.  However, the PSNI’s Historical Inquiries Team later reported the gang who carried out the barbaric killing were members of the IRA.

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