Monday 21 January 2019

Sinn Féin MP's video was insensitive - and sinister

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.


Sinn Féin-IRA's kangaroo courts allowed child abusers to walk free and not be prosecuted by the authorities.

The party's disciplinary system has thus far found little evidence of bullying within the organisation, despite complaints from members in constituencies around the country.

Sinn Féin's idea of punishment when its members cross the line is a mild rap across the knuckles. Such was the penalty imposed on the party's MP Barry McElduff.

He was suspended from all party activity for just three months after he posted a video online that relatives of the victims of the 1976 Kingsmill massacre, carried out by the Provisional IRA, described as callous and offensive.

The video showed Mr McElduff in a supermarket with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head.

Kingsmill is a well-known brand of bread in Northern Ireland. It shares a name with the south Armagh village where Provos stopped a van carrying textile workers on their way home, identified the Protestant occupants, lined them up at the side of the road and shot them. Mr McElduff's stunt occurred on the anniversary of this cowardly act.

Apart from a PR exercise, it's not quite clear why Sinn Féin has suspended Mr McElduff, as the party fails to identify what it views as his offence. Mr McElduff will even continue to be paid during his so-called suspension.

Sinn Féin Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill says Barry McElduff's video wasn't "calculated or deliberately intended to be malicious". Any right-thinking people would regard it as crass, insensitive - and sinister.

Its leader-for-life is about to depart the scene, but the Sinn Féin-IRA leopard hasn't changed its spots.

Saoirse does her country proud - as does Martin

Yeah, she did partake in a rather hackneyed 'Saturday Night Live' sketch, which threw out a bunch of clichés about Ireland. But the real offence there was it was singularly unfunny.

No, you really can't accuse Saoirse Ronan of forgetting where she comes from. And all in her homeland are proud of her achievements.

We have shared the joy of watching her emerge as a child star and develop into a talented actress to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

Now her talents have been rewarded again with a Golden Globe. The Carlow actress saw her tremendous display in 'Lady Bird' recognised as the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical.

The film centres on a mother and daughter's relationship, and Ronan made sure to give her own mother a shout-out during her acceptance speech: "My mam's on FaceTime over there on someone's phone right now, so 'hi'."

Saoirse's mother Monica was the "proudest mammy in Ireland" following her daughter's win.

The country joins with the Ronan family in expressing its pride in 'one of our own'.

Irish film-maker Martin McDonagh also gave his nation reason to cheer as he too was triumphant. His latest movie, 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri', won four awards and is now a hot ticket for the Oscars.

The film's lead, Frances McDormand, now most likely goes head-to-head with Saoirse Ronan for an Oscar.

Irish Independent

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