Apparently a group of Sinn Féin protesters, including Councillor Tomás Sharkey, took exception to the presence of out-going SDLP leader Mark Durkan, MP, MLA, at a boisterous press conference with Irish Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, promoting a ‘Yes’ vote. From the Irish News report [subs] it would seem that Mark Durkan’s northernness was an issue.. but what does Tomás think of Gerry campaigning for a ‘No’ vote? From the Irish News [subs]
However, a Sinn Féin spokesman said councillors attended a press conference and “at such events questions are asked by those who attend”. “If Mark Durkan cannot field questions at a press conference he needs to speak to his press people, but the lack of answers to these pertinent questions is hardly surprising from a man who has ambitions of sitting in Westminster and nowhere else,” he said.
Mr Durkan said:”Sinn Fein, who has the wholehearted support of the UK Independence Party and the wilder Tory fringes, had the absolute gall to question my right to campaign in the referendum and showed their utter contempt for my right to free speech. Every Irish person has that right and such partitionist nonsense is rich indeed coming from a party which likes to parade its supposed all-Ireland credentials.