Was Deputy Speaker Molloy attempting to mislead the house, or just plain mistaken?

Francie Molloy (Deputy Speaker) may have landed himself into some hot water over statements he made to the house yesterday… “I will clarify the situation for the Member: all the re-enactments took place on the county road, not in the GAA grounds.” Hmm… Elsewhere in the debate, Mr Molloy defends the acceptability of such demonstrations and the right of nationalist communities to hold them, but the use of GAA ground for paramilitary commemoration brings us into the politically complex question of how public funds might be acceptably spent…

So were the ‘guns’ outside or inside the grounds? Well on this Bebo site, they appear to be in a gravelled car park with a perimeter wall in the background. Hard to place from one shot. But now look at this longer shot which places a similar piece of ground (and bus) inside the perimeter of the ground, and certainly not on the county road. Mr Molloy’s account is also at odds with this eye witness account on Politics.ie the day after the event (ie when it was still politically uncontroversial)…

Mr Molloy is next in line to take up the Speaker’s job… If this was a genuine mistake then he should come out and rectify the situation as soon as possible… But his statement in the Assembly yesterday is substantially at odds with evidence that has been in the public domain for some time…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty