Sinn Fein’s ‘hypocrisy’ on fox hunting policy queried

Sinn Fein protested at the Crawfordsburn drag hunt on Tuesday
Sinn Fein protested at the Crawfordsburn drag hunt on Tuesday

A former Green Party MLA has called on Sinn Fein to explain why some of its representatives took part in a protest against a drag hunt, given the party’s prior stance on the issue of fox hunting.

North Down Sinn Fein posted on its Facebook page an invitation to join them at Crawfordsburn for a “peaceful protest against the annual New Year’s Day fox hunt”.

The event is actually a drag hunt, with the hounds following an artificially laid scent.

But Brian Wilson, a former North Down MLA, said the protest by members of Sinn Fein was the “height of hypocrisy”, pointing out that the party had previously opposed legislation aimed at banning fox hunting in the Province.

He added: “When I proposed my bill to the Assembly in December 2010, Sinn Fein MLAs tore me apart, arguing that it provided thousands of jobs in the countryside and it was an attack on the rural community.

“Francie Molloy, the present MP for Mid Ulster, even suggested fox hunting should be promoted as a tourist attraction by taking advantage of the ban in the rest of UK.

“Has SF changed its policy or does it have a different policy in North Down from that in Mid Ulster?” Mr Wilson asked.

The party could not be reached for comment last night.