Sinn Fein has taken over a week to investigate party members who described IRA victims as ‘wasters’ while some of them were featuring in high-profile photo calls, it is claimed.
SDLP councillor Máiría Cahill, who says republicans covered up her rape by an IRA man, was speaking after The Sun reported the comments from a WhatsApp group. It was created with the phone of SF TD Dessie Ellis, who served ten years for IRA bomb offences.
A party member called ‘Ciaran Doc’ said last year that a possible general election would result in the media being “on the phone to Cahill, Stack, Quinn et al and every other waster they can wheel out with a sob story”.
It is understood he was referring to Ms Cahill, and the families of Irish prison officer Brian Stack and south Armagh truck driver Paul Quinn, who were both murdered by the IRA.
Dublin Deputy Lord Mayor Cathleen Carney Boud then chimed in: “Wasn’t there a story during the week about victims of IRA? They’re already scrambling for stories . . . ”.
Ms Cahill noted that Sinn Fein claimed it was still trying to establish the facts around the case. “They must be completely incompetent, as they have had these messages for over a week now, and some of the participants were pictured with [a leading SF figure] a few days ago,” she said.
Brian Stack’s son, Austin, said the party must now expel Ms Boud and sanction Dessie Ellis. “The tone of a party is set by the leadership and if ordinary members are behaving in such a fashion towards victims it is because they believe the party leadership will try a blind eye,” he said.
Sinn Fein said the comments were “completely unacceptable” and that it is “currently trying to establish the facts of this matter”.