Wednesday 12 December 2018

Stack family still waiting for personal apology after senator's 'sadist' tweet

Senator Maire Devine Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Senator Maire Devine Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The Sinn Féin Senator suspended by her party for retweeting a post describing IRA victim Brian Stack as a "sadist prison officer" has still not apologised in person to his family nearly three weeks after the incident.

Maire Devine was handed a three-month suspension for retweeting a post on social media.

Brian Stack (48) was the chief prison officer in Portlaoise prison when he was shot by the IRA as he left an amateur boxing contest in 1983. He died 18 months later.

The retweet by Senator Devine referred to his son Austin Stack as the "Fianna Fáil son of a sadist prison officer".

The retweet has since been deleted from her Twitter account.

While a statement was issued on behalf of Senator Devine by the Sinn Féin press office, Austin Stack has said his family has received no apology in person.

He has called on Ms Devine to "take the honourable action and resign her seat in the Seanad".

The party statement said it was never the senator's intention "to cause any distress or hurt, particularly to victims of the conflict".

"I want to offer my most sincere apologies to the family of the late Brian Stack," it said.

Mr Stack rejected Sinn Féin's apology and the apology to the Seanad.

He said the reality that Ms Devine will be "welcomed back into the party after 12 short weeks is a clear indication to myself and my family that this has not been treated seriously by Sinn Féin's new leaders".

Mr Stack said the new Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald had announced herself as a "new pair of shoes and things would be different".

Mr Stack said that neither he nor anyone in his family had received a direct apology from Senator Devine for her actions.

"I haven't heard anything from her at all," he said.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of Brian Stack's murder.

Irish Independent

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