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Poots branded 'childish' after Easter Rising tweet

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Edwin Poots: in Twitter storm after comments

Edwin Poots: in Twitter storm after comments

Edwin Poots: in Twitter storm after comments

THE North's Health Minister Edwin Poots has been branded "childish" in a Twitter storm about the Easter Rising.

As republicans marked the anniversary of the 1916 rebellion on Sunday, Mr Poots tweeted: "Had forgotten it is the 97th anniversary of a failed rising by subversives."

The comment, described as "hissy" by SDLP health spokesman, Conall McDevitt, sparked a Twitter row, with some users accusing the DUP MLA of "awesome trolling" and displaying "unionist political leadership at its best".

Mr Poots's online comment – which appeared to have been posted at 5.01am on Sunday – prompted a swift backlash.

South Belfast SDLP MLA Mr McDevitt said the comment was "childish and hissy", and "unfit of a person who holds" Mr Poots's office.

"I think given the amount of energy and work to try to create a positive climate on a decade of centenaries, he needs to be careful to not let whatever prejudice he may hold to get in the way of reconciliation in our society," he said.

"The question he needs to reflect on is if he wants to be someone who contributes to a decade of reconciliation or not."

It is not the first time the Lagan Valley MLA has run into controversy.

In June, Mr McDevitt accused the health minister of "bigotry" over his refusal to lift a ban on gay men donating blood.

"My party will be calling on the minister (Mr Poots) to bring forward the totality of his alleged evidence, to allow proper scrutiny of it... and answer for the bigotry inherent in his comments," Mr McDevitt said.

Irish Independent