Máirtin Ó Muilleoir (SF) questioned over Kingsmill loaf video retweet

Barry McElduff resigned as SF MP days after posting video of himself with loaf on his head

Sinn Féin’s  Máirtin Ó Muilleoir  on the phone at Stormont Castle in Belfast in  July 2017 during what proved to be fruitless talks  to form a powersharing government in Northern Ireland. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Sinn Féin’s Máirtin Ó Muilleoir on the phone at Stormont Castle in Belfast in July 2017 during what proved to be fruitless talks to form a powersharing government in Northern Ireland. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

 

A former minister in the Stormont Executive has been questioned by police investigating social media activity related to the Barry McElduff “Kingsmill loaf” video.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Máirtin Ó Muilleoir retweeted a video posted by Mr McElduff, a West Tyrone MP at the time, which angered victims of the 1976 republican Kingsmill shootings.

Mr McElduff resigned as MP for the area last January, 10 days after controversy flared when he posted a video of himself with a Kingsmill-branded loaf on his head on the anniversary of the notorious massacre.

He insisted the video was not an intentional reference to the sectarian murders of 10 Protestant workmen by republican paramilitaries near the Co Armagh village of Kingsmill, but acknowledged it had caused hurt and offence to victims’ families.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) statement said: “Police investigating complaints about a video uploaded to social media on January 6 have interviewed a 58-year-old man.”

Videograb image taken from the Twitter feed of Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff showing him with a Kingsmill-branded loaf on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre. File photograph: Barry McElduff/Twitter/PA Wire

Mr Ó Muilleoir said: “I can confirm I was invited to attend a short interview with the PSNI on a voluntary basis, and was happy to do so.

‘Entirely innocent and apolitical’

“I reiterated to the PSNI that I considered Barry McElduff’s tweet to be entirely innocent and apolitical, and retweeted on that basis.”

Det Chief Supt Tim Mairs said he attended Musgrave police station in Belfast city centre voluntarily on Thursday by prior arrangement. “A report will now be prepared for the Public Prosecution Service.”

Then West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff leaving Sinn Féin headquarters on the Falls Road in Belfast after his suspension from all party activity for three months after he posted a video of himself with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Then West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff leaving Sinn Féin headquarters on the Falls Road in Belfast after his suspension from all party activity for three months after he posted a video of himself with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

It is understood Mr Ó Muilleoir was interviewed about offences under communications and public order laws.

Mr Ó Muilleoir was finance minister in the Executive from 2016 until the collapse of powersharing last year. – Press Association