Sinn Féin TDs advised not to engage in social media spats

Direction follows disagreement between a number of party Deputies on abortion

Meath West Peadar Tóibín criticised the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment for an alleged imbalance in its list of witnesses.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Meath West Peadar Tóibín criticised the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment for an alleged imbalance in its list of witnesses. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

 

Sinn Féin has issued a direction to a number of TDs to stop engaging in public disputes online.

The action was taken after several TDs criticised comments made on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics programme by Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín, who alleged the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment was biased.

The party’s headquarters has written to Jonathan O’Brien, Eoin Ó Broin and Mr Tóibín advising them not to use social media to air criticisms of colleagues.

It advised members the only place such issues should be raised was within parliamentary party meetings. A meeting is scheduled to take place next week between the TDs to discuss the matter further.

Disciplinary action against individual members is not being ruled out if such practices continue. However, senior party sources said it was unlikely any such measures would be taken on this occasion.

Last Sunday, Mr Tóibín criticised the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment for an alleged imbalance in its list of witnesses.

Mr Tóibín was critical of the number of witnesses favouring the repeal of the amendment compared to the numbers of those who favour its retention.

Mr O’Brien and Mr Ó Broin tweeted that his remarks did not represent the Sinn Féin view of the committee.

Senior figures have met with Mr Tóibín to discuss his comments on the RTÉ programme and encouraged him to outline the party position.

No formal action will be taken against the Meath West TD unless he votes against the party in the Dáil.