Sunday 26 May 2019

SF out of Trinity due to Thatcher 'threat email'

Fionnan SheahanPolitical Correspondent

SINN Fein has been booted out of Trinity College after the campus branch chairperson circulated a hate email containing threats to Margaret Thatcher.

The message urged Sinn Fein members to insult the late husband of the former British Prime Minister, and contained the statement: "We'll get the bitch yet."

The line is seen as a reference to the infamous Brighton bombing, when the IRA attempted to assassinate Mrs Thatcher and the British Cabinet at the Tory Party conference in 1986.

The sender of the email, Grace Vaughey, Sinn Fein Trinity Cumann chairperson, has been disciplined by college authorities, but not Sinn Fein, and she remains a member of the party. Last night, a party spokesperson said Ms Vaughey had apologised to college authorities and the party.

The email encouraged people to send hate mail to a Margaret Thatcher fan site, to coincide with her recent 80th birthday.

It called for recipients to insult Denis Thatcher, who died two years ago.

Sinn Fein has been banned from holding meetings on the Trinity campus for the rest of the year, and has had college funding and access to its office withdrawn.

Yesterday's edition of Trinity News reported that Ms Vaughey had been fined ?75 by the college, while Ogra Shinn Fein was not allowed hold events on campus. Sinn Fein's spokesperson said Ms Vaughey forwarded an offending email written by somebody else. The email's author is not being named.

The party was not condemning the incident, but described the email as in "appalling taste" and "extremely juvenile".

"She (Ms Vaughey) should have taken more care," the spokesperson said. "She has apologised. It was a complete error of judgment. It won't happen again."

The email came to light and action was taken by the college after a Sinn Fein member in the college made a complaint.

Trinity Sinn Fein's website features a logo of a coffin draped with the tricolour and with three gunmen standing over it firing into the air. The slogan beneath says 'Remember Our Dead'.

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