Varadkar calls for Sinn Féin resignations over Storey funeral attendance

ireland
Varadkar Calls For Sinn Féin Resignations Over Storey Funeral Attendance
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Digital Desk staff

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has called for Sinn Féin resignations over the attendance of members at the funeral of former leading IRA member Bobby Storey in Belfast in June.

Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill has acknowledged the funeral undermined public health advice, as more than a thousand people gathered to pay their respects while Covid-19 regulations stated no more than 30 people could gather outdoors.

Ms O’Neill, who is the Stormont Executive’s deputy first minister, attended the funeral alongside Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald and other prominent members of the party.

The Tánaiste has now compared attendance at the funeral to the controversial Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden which spawned the Golfgate scandal and several high-profile resignations, including that of former EU Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Speaking in the Dáil, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar criticised the party and called for resignations: “It’s late, but I think it’s timely when Belfast has a higher incidence than any other city in Ireland.

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“We’ve seen a dozen resignations as a result of Golfgate in the last few weeks. Will anyone in Sinn Féin be resigning as a consequence of this, or do you believe that Sinn Féin Republicans are some sort of higher cast that don’t have to obey the same laws as anyone else, and don’t have to follow the public health guidance.”

Deputy O’Neill has said it was not her intention to undermine the messaging around Covid-19 but has acknowledged her attendance at the funeral did so.

She said the Northern Ireland executive had not been able to deliver clear public health messaging since the controversy.

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader and First Minister of Northern Ireland, has welcomed Deputy O’Neill’s statement.

She said the images of the funeral confused public health messaging in Northern Ireland, and she is awaiting the results of an investigation into the funeral.

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