Sinn Fein sparks social media row

Aras Chill Dara.

Aras Chill Dara.

Kildare County Council’s monthly meeting was temporarily halted on 28 July when criticism was raised over the use of social media.

Messages had been posted on Sinn Fein’s website during the meeting which were critical of decisions by Mayor Fiona O’Loughlin (FF) during the meeting.

Cllr. Darren Scully (FG) called for a suspension of the meeting for 15 minutes because there had been a “breach of protocol in the chamber here today of a serious nature”.

After a private meeting of the protocol committee, Cllr. Scully, said that matters about the meeting were put on social media by Sinn Fein, in breach of procedures.

Cllr. O’Loughlin said: “I was not treated with courtesy and respect with material put up on social media.”

A Sinn Fein official left the Chamber to take down the posts.

Cllr. Mark Lynch (SF) said a party member, not a councillor, came into the public gallery but unfortunately did not know the procedures.”

Cllr. O’Loughlin said there were “derogatory” comments on members accounts.”

Cllr. Brendan Weld (FG) said that Sinn Fein members “should be ashamed of yourself as a party.”

Cllr. Sorcha O’Neill (Sinn Fein) apologised to the Mayor for any remarks causing offence. She was not tweeting herself but added that plenty of councillors tweet.“I will take note of the rules and I apologise to you.” Cllr. O’Loughlin accepted the apology and said they had asked for the comments to be removed.

Cllr. Reada Cronin (Sinn Fein) said she thought it was alright to tweet if the tweets were accurate. She was unhappy with the criticism of Sinn Fein. “A lot of people in the (Council) chamber used bad language. There are no other apologies from other members,” she said.

Cllr. Ide Cussen (Sinn Fein) said she would not accept “a slur on my party.”

Cllr. Suzanne Doyle (FF) said all parties should look at the use of social media. “Its credibility will be gone if it is not used properly.”




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