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Brian Stanley TD to make statement about controversial tweets in the Dáil today

Stanley has already apologised for a tweet about two IRA attacks on the British army.

Image: RollingNews.ie

SINN FÉIN TD Brian Stanley will make a statement to the Dáil today, but will not resign or take questions over his previous remarks.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said yesterday that Stanley will not announce his resignation as chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) when he makes a statement about his controversial tweets.

Stanley apologised last week over a tweet about two IRA attacks on the British army.

In a message posted in late November, on the centenary of the Kilmichael ambush in 1920, Stanley wrote: “Kilmicheal (sic) (1920) and Narrow Water (1979) the 2 IRA operations that taught the elective of (the) British army and the establishment the cost of occupying Ireland. Pity for everyone they were such slow learners.”

In a statement afterwards, Stanley apologised “for the content of an inappropriate and insensitive tweet that I sent”.

He later apologised to the PAC members, stating that he did not hold himself to the standards that is expected of him.

Following this, Stanley’s social media accounts were deleted after he insisted that he had nothing to apologise for regarding another tweet he sent about Leo Varadkar when he was elected leader of Fine Gael in 2017.

“Yippee 4 d tory. it’s Leo. U can do what u like in bed but don’t look 4 a pay rise the next morning,” tweeted Stanley at the time of Varadkar’s election.

Stanley insisted last week that his record on gay rights “speaks for itself” when asked to clarify his tweet.

“Some people have set out to try and twist this in some way. I don’t have to apologise to anyone because my record on gay rights stands for itself. I campaigned in every campaign for gay rights,” he told the Public Accounts Committee.

I grew up in an Ireland where gay people were criminalised. I grew up in an Ireland where women were treated appallingly. So I don’t have any apology to make to anybody.

“Let me say this, if we are going to get to the point where we don’t allow some level of freedom of speech and for every word to be twisted and turned then we are not going very far as a society.”

Stanley went on to say that short tweets can be “misinterpreted”.

McDonald told Stanley to take last week off to spend with his family, before making a statement in the Dáil today. 

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“Brian will set out his stall, make his position clear. Brian is an honourable person,” McDonald told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland yesterday.

She clarified that he would not be taking questions, pointing out that individual members of the House are answerable and accountable to the people, not to the Dáil.

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