“This is such a mess for Sinn Féin against the background of the party’s calls for respect and equality…”

Interesting coda to the McElduff saga… John Manley writes “according to Mr [Brian] Feeney, Mr McElduff ‘got off lightly’…”

“This sanction was very lenient,” he told The Irish News last night. “He has done this sort of stuff before and been warned against it but still continues to play the clown.”

The Irish News columnist said Sinn Féin needed “to take this matter much more seriously”.

“This is such as mess for Sinn Féin against the background of the party’s calls for respect and equality,” he said.

“There really should have been an exemplary punishment for this – there’s no equivalence between Peader Toibín voting on terms of conscience and McElduff acting daft by walking around a supermarket with a loaf on his head.”

For the record, Deputy Toibin (a real public representative paid by the state) was suspended from the party for six months for refusing the SF whip on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013. It’s this that’s catching southern eyes more than the original offence.

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

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