McKay would not have done solo run – ex-Sinn Fein MLA

Independent 'Newry councillor Davy Hyland
Independent 'Newry councillor Davy Hyland

A former Sinn Fein MLA says it is unlikely that Daithi McKay was acting on his own with loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson, as you “never go on solo runs” with the republican party.

Independent Newry councillor Davy Hyland was a Sinn Fein representative on the city’s council for 13 years and an MLA in the party from 2003-7 after which he left over support for the PSNI.

Speaking of the resignation of Sinn Fein MLA Mr McKay this week over links to Mr Bryson during NAMA evidence sessions at Stormont, he said he “would never have envisaged such a thing, as when I was in the Assembly we were barely on speaking terms with the other side”.

He added: “I don’t think the full story has come out yet. No doubt Sinn Fein would like to brush the whole thing under the carpet.

“However it is unlikely that Daithi McKay and his friend [Thomas O’Hara] were in this on their own and not sanctioned by someone higher up in the leadership. The nature of Sinn Fein is that you never go on solo runs. It is made quite clear that everything must go through central command. Has it changed much in the nine years since I left? I doubt it.

“It seems quite incredible and amateurish.

“It seemed likely it was always going to come to public knowledge. Sinn Fein is normally quite tight and secretive but these tweets [between McKay and Bryson] can be opened up and read.

“I would have thought they would have been more professional than that in their social interactions.

“But the fact that Peter Robinson was named in the correspondence would immediately have raised concerns. What was the whole purpose of the finance sub-committee?

“Reading between the lines, it was obviously an attempt to put Peter Robinson in the frame - not to get rid of him - but to embarrass him highly regarding NAMA.”

The councillor said he never served on an Assembly committee, as they had not yet been formed when he was an MLA.