This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Sinn Féin: ‘Bogus tweet’ was nothing to do with party or McGuinness campaign

The Green Party has called on Sinn Féin to explain its role in the now infamous tweet read out on the Frontline presidential debate last year.

Image: Photocall Ireland and Tony Kinlan

SINN FÉIN HAS said that the now infamous tweet that purported to be from the presidential campaign of Martin McGuinness was not the work of the party nor the campaign.

A spokesperson was responding to questions posed by the Green Party in a statement today which called on Sinn Féin to “come clean about what happened on the night of the Frontline presidential debate”.

The controversy centres on a ‘bogus tweet’ from a Twitter account with a username similar to that of the official Martin McGuinness campaign account which said that the man, later revealed to be Hugh Morgan, who claimed he had given a €5,000 cheque to Seán Gallagher would appear at a press conference the next day.

This tweet was subsequently read on the Frontline debate and was later the subject of a complaint to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) by Gallagher, a complaint which was last week upheld. The BAI found that the broadcasting of the tweet “was unfair to the complainant [Gallagher].”

First news that Morgan could appear in public came from journalist David Cochrane of who tweeted on the night of the debate: “A SF person has told me they have the person who gave the 5k cheque to Gallagher and are likely to roll him out tomorrow.”

However, Sinn Féin has since denied any involvement with the subsequent tweet that was read out on RTÉ, the Twitter account it was from and said that there were never any plans for a press conference.

A party spokesperson told today he had “no idea who was behind the account” and that it “had nothing to do” with either the party or the Martin McGuinness campaign.

Speaking to this afternoon Cochrane said that he did not think his tweet was particularly “earth shattering”.

“If I thought it was big I would have done something on,” he said. “It is a matter of record that McGuinness had a lengthy discussion with Morgan on the afternoon before the Frontline programme. It was my understanding that the following day he would be at a press conference.”

He went on to point out that the man at the centre of the allegation, Hugh Morgan, later released a statement in which he stood by the allegations put to Gallagher on the Frontline programme by McGuinness.

In a statement this morning, Green Party councillor Mark Dearey said: “Given the consequences of the events on that programme Sinn Féin, like RTE, need to confirm what exactly happened on the night.  Who was it in their organisation that broke the story to

“Who in their organisation knew what was happening?  Why did they issue a retraction to the tweet that was read out by Pat Kenny, when in truth the same message had already gone out from their own sources?”

McGuinness blames Gallagher’s undoing on ‘lack of credibility’ – and not RTÉ

Seán Gallagher calls for inquiry over new RTÉ Frontline claims

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel