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Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly
Parnell Street attack

Sinn Féin TD criticised for waving photo of 'vulnerable' man in Dáil chamber

Earlier today, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald tweeted the image of the man.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 29th 2023, 4:32 PM

SINN FÉIN’S LOUISE O’Reilly has been criticised for waving a photo in the Dáil of a man, sitting and drinking from a can near the school close to where the stabbing attack in Dublin happened last Thursday.

Earlier today, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald tweeted the image of the man sitting on the steps of a building which appears to be beside Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions, Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly held up the image in the Dáil and said: “Minister, this is what greeted those children six days after the traumatic and horrific event that happened to three of their classmates and one of their staff members.

“The school is terrified and traumatised. The school community wants answers and leadership and they are getting neither from you.

“This picture represents what Dublin city feels like to Dubliners on your watch, Minister. You should resign.”

In response, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said that everyone has a “role to be responsible in this House”.

“I think you should consider that before you start waving pictures around.”

Her comments were met with “hear, hear” from the floor of the Dáil.

Labour leader Ivana Bacik also criticised the photo being shown in the Dáil.

She said: “Undoubtedly, there’s been grandstanding from opposition, including waving of a photograph of an identifiable person in this House. That’s an outrageous action, that’s outrageous action, that’s outrageous grandstanding and I want to call that out.”

Earlier today, Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan also criticised McDonald’s tweet directly saying: “There is no need to tweet this man’s photo as if there is a direct link to people who live or occupy inner city streets and the events of last week. This is ill advised and unfair.”

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said on X, formerly Twitter, that O’Reilly’s actions in the Dáil were “disgusting”.

“Absolutely disgusting behaviour by SF in the Dáil chamber today waving a printed out photograph of a clearly vulnerable individual,” he said.

Ó Ríordáin said McDonald’s tweet was “outrageous from someone who wants to be Taoiseach.”

“If a FG minister did this they’d have to resign,” he added.

With reporting from Hayley Halpin.