Tuesday 18 June 2019

Mary Lou McDonald defends suspension handed to senator over Stack tweet scandal

Brian Stack was shot in the neck in March 1983 and died 18 months later (Irish Prisons/PA)
Brian Stack was shot in the neck in March 1983 and died 18 months later (Irish Prisons/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

MARY Lou McDonald has defended a three-month suspension handed to a senator over an offensive social media post relating to IRA victim, Brian Stack.

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

She has apologised and received a three-month suspension from party activities.

The new leader of Sinn Féin defended the punishment and said it was more than a "rap on the knuckles".

Senator Máire Devine (Image via Oireachtas.ie)
Senator Máire Devine (Image via Oireachtas.ie)

Speaking on Morning Ireland Ms McDonald said the matter was "dealt with as a matter or urgency." 

"She is in no doubt that she has been severely and definitively punished," she said.

The senator's actions showed the "poorest of poor judgement" and were "entirely unacceptable" Ms McDonald said.

Brian Stack (48) was the chief prison officer in Portlaoise Prison when he was shot in 1983. The father-of-three was brain-damaged but lived for 18 months after the attack.

Speaking to the Irish Independent Mr Stack's son Austin callled on the senator to "take the honourable action" and resign.

The incident bears a resemblance to former MP Barry McElduff who stepped down when he sparked outrage by posting a video showing him with a loaf of 'Kingsmill' bread on the anniversary of the Kingsmill atrocity.

Mr McElduff was initially suspended by the party but later resigned.

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