A victims’ campaigner has hit out at Sinn Fein as being a party of “jokers” after members took part in a Strictly Come Dancing-style event with an election looming.
The fundraising event at The Devenish in west Belfast featured Gerry Kelly, Paul Maskey and others from the party in fancy dress performing Elton John’s Crocodile Rock.
The choice of song is thought to be a comeback to DUP leader Arlene Foster’s comments about the Irish language act when she said: “If you feed a crocodile it will keep coming back for more.”
As well as Kelly and Maskey, other senior figures from Sinn Fein were present at the event including party leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill, who was a judge, and deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald who was a compere along with well-known republican Bobby Storey.
The ‘Sinn Fein Does Strictly at the Movies’ event was won by former IRA prisoner Kelly and his wife who danced to Roxanne by The Police.
Kenny Donaldson, spokesman for Innocent Victims United, said although Sinn Fein had done nothing to break the law, the decision to stage the event just before an election suggested they had their priorities wrong.
He said: “Upon hearing of this particular event many, many people – victims and otherwise – will ask the question, what priority is Sinn Fein/PIRA giving to the many needs of our community at a time when a further NI Assembly election is but days away and an uncertain political future then follows?
“Instead of building up their coffers many would wish that they would instead focus upon those issues which continue to keep our community divided.
“Sinn Fein/PIRA have not accounted for the wrong that they have inflicted upon this society and which they continue to commemorate and self justify.
“The political process has become a laughing stock and Sinn Fein’s latest attempt at humour says much for their priorities in the run up to Thursday’s poll. Irrespective of what happens on Thursday the days of the UK government pandering to and appeasing Sinn Fein/PIRA must be at an end. It’s time for the jokers to leave the stage.”
DUP’s Nelson McCausland is reported to have told the Belfast Telegraph “the best dancer in Sinn Fein is the president, Gerry Adams, who has spent decades dancing on the head of a pin when asked about membership of the IRA”.