There are I suppose two basic questions outstanding about the unholy alliance between the disgraced and now former Sinn Fein MLA and Finance committee chair Daithi McKay and the loyalist rascal Jamie Bryson. Who originally floated the Nama allegations which it’s suggested were accessed from an iCloud account and were not made up by Sinn Fein? Or is this a purely a pathetic piece of evasion to lessen the impact and spread the load of guilt?
Secondly, was McKay acting alone with fellow north Antrim Sinn Feiner Thomas O’ Hara or did the plot to brief Bryson go even higher up the party? However poor the relations between the DUP and Sinn Fein at the time, I would no more expect Mairtin OMeuilloir to be implicated than the main target himself, Peter Robinson.
On the face of it the rapid defenestration of McKay is an example of maturity from Sinn Fein, whether out of a need for containment or calm reflection. It shows a party keener on appearing responsible than pulling juvenile strokes.It also suggests that bright young things of the new Sinn Fein generation were given more rope than was good for them. But the decline of the old politburo style is probably inevitable as the Troubles recede.
McKay’s sacking sits well with the terms Gerry Adams has set for dialogue with dissident republicans and shows an acute awareness of the need for public respect. Speculation about McKay as a scapegoat for other’s involvement is inevitable. But unless names and evidence are uncovered quite soon about what was always a far- fetched allegation, I suspect the waters will close over the head of McKay the rising star, as if he had never existed.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London