Sinn Féin rejects criticism over tweet about bombing of Syria

DUP MP Gregory Campbell accuses Francie Molloy of suffering from ‘irony by-pass’

Sinn Féin has stood by a comment made by its Mid-Ulster MP Francie Molloy, who posted a tweet saying, "Brits back to what they do best. Murder." His remark following the House of Commons vote endorsing British military intervention in Syria was criticised by unionist parties

DUP East Derry MP Gregory Campbell said Mr Molloy's comment was "deeply offensive" on a number of levels but it also demonstrated that he suffered from an "irony bypass".

“Mr Molloy appears to believe that the air strikes are what ‘Brits do best’, which is an interesting comment from a man who once threatened us that if the IRA didn’t get its own way, they would ‘go back to what they do best’,” he said.

“Francie Molloy could have gone to Westminster and voted against air strikes, just as Sinn Féin MPs could have turned up to vote on the welfare reform issue they caused so much difficulty over.


“To distract people from their impotence, it is much easier to issue an offensive tweet,” Mr Campbell added. “After reminding us briefly that he actually does exist, presumably Mr Molloy will now go back to what he does best; failing to represent the people of Mid-Ulster.”

Ulster Unionist South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan said Mr Molloy's comment was "absolutely deplorable, but not surprising". "It reveals a deeper mindset within the psyche of some Sinn Féin members which seems to be an irrational hatred of all things British apart from pounds sterling, Westminster expenses and hospitality at Windsor Castle," he said.

Richard Cairns of the Traditional Unionist Voice party said the comment was "despicable".

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan, however, said the decision to bomb Syria was wrong and would "only add to the cycle of violence gripping the country and indeed further afield".

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times