Northern Ireland

Réada Cronin: SF leader to discuss TD's comments with Jewish Council

Mary Lou McDonald and Réada Cronin Image copyright Getty Images/Creative Commons/ Sinn Féin
Image caption Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald hopes to meet Irish Jewish representatives over TD Réada Cronin's tweets

The Sinn Féin leader hopes to meet Irish Jewish representatives to discuss comments, made by one of her TDs, which were widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

Mary Lou McDonald was responding to a question about Kildare North TD Réada Cronin.

Ms Cronin made a number of controversial remarks on Twitter when she was a councillor.

She posted comments about Israel and staff at the Israeli embassy and made derogatory comments about judges.

'Anti-Semitic and racist'

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Ms McDonald said she hoped to meet the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland to discuss the issue, adding that Sinn Féin "condemned all racism and bigotry".

Its chairman, Maurice Cohen, earlier said the tweets were "inaccurate, anti-Semitic and racist" and on Thursday, Ireland's former minister for justice called for Ms Cronin to be expelled from the party.

Alan Shatter also called for a gardaí (Irish police) to investigate the tweets, which he described as "an incitement to hatred".

On Wednesday, Ms Cronin apologised "unreservedly and wholeheartedly" for "glib, off-the-cuff tweets... sent in the past".

"I will assist and work with everybody, without qualification. I abhor racism and bigotry of any shade. My character and my politics are republican and egalitarian," she said.

'Apology not remotely enough'

Mr Shatter, who is Jewish and was a Fine Gael minister between 2011 and 2014, claimed the comments from Ms Cronin were not off-the-cuff, but rather conformed "to a particular pattern".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ireland's former Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the tweets were "an incitement to hatred"

"She has generally made a series of completely inappropriate and egregious anti-Semitic tweets," he said, speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster programme.

Mr Shatter said the removal of the tweets from the Twitter account of Ms Cronin prevented "full scrutiny".

Also speaking on the programme, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O'Reilly, said it was her understanding many of the highlighted tweets were made before she had become a member of Sinn Féin.

"She has apologised unreservedly. Absolutely, totally, and completely," said Ms O'Reilly.

'I have not seen the tweets'

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland programme on Thursday, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said he had not seen the tweets, but that their contents was "inappropriate" and "not in keeping with Sinn Féin's policy".

He said some of the tweets had been made before Ms Cronin was a member of Sinn Féin, and a number of others were from before she was an elected representative.

"She has withdrawn them, she has apologised, and she has apologised for any hurt which has been caused," he said.

Asked if it was investigating the Ms Cronin's tweets, gardaí said the force did not comment on named individuals.

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