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Sinn Féin TD says Brian Stanley guilty of 'colossal errors of judgment'

Brian Stanley is taking this week off to spend time with his family at the request of his party leader, Mary Lou McDonald.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

SINN FÉIN TD and Public Accounts Committee chairman Brian Stanley is “guilty of colossal errors of judgment” by posting two controversial tweets, a party colleague has said.

Eoin Ó Broin said the tweets have caused “a lot of hurt” but he rejected claims Stanley is not fit to chair the committee.

Speaking on This Week in Politics on RTÉ One, he described Stanley as a “fine politician and a good public representative”.

Stanley, who is taking this week off to spend time with his family at the request of his party leader, Mary Lou McDonald, is to make a statement to the Dáil about the social media posts. 

Stanley had been facing mounting calls to appear before the Dáil following a series of controversies.

On Wednesday, he publicly apologised for a tweet sent last weekend, which appeared to glorify historical killings of British soldiers by the IRA.

But he insisted he has “no apology to make” over a 2017 tweet he sent that appeared to comment on the sexuality of Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar.

The Laois-Offaly TD has now deleted his Twitter account.

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Ó Broin has said that his party colleague has been accused of things that are “wrong”.

“What he is guilty of is colossal errors of judgment pertaining to both tweets,” he told RTÉ. 

“It was insensitive and poor judgment, he caused a lot of hurt with both of them and the right thing for Brian to do is reflect on all of that.

“Given he has been accused of some pretty appalling things, it has been a difficult week for him and I think offering to come to the Dáil and make a full detailed statement is the right thing to do.

“People make mistakes and in Brian’s case two particularly bad mistakes.

“I think when people make mistakes they should own up to them, they should apologise, they should explain.

“I think Brian has been accused of things which are completely untrue, he is a politician of serious integrity. I think people should take Brian at his word.”

Stanley has rejected accusations of homophobia over the tweet he sent when the Tanaiste was elected Fine Gael leader.

Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris said: “What I find it very difficult to take is that if I had sent those tweets and I was sitting here today, deputy O Broin and Sinn Fein would probably be calling for me to resign from government, probably saying I was unfit to hold office, definitely demanding that I go into the Dail to answer questions on everything and anything.

“I ask that Sinn Fein hold themselves to the same level and standard that they would hold me to.”

Responding to reports of online attacks by Sinn Fein supporters, Ó Broin urged those people to “stop what they are doing” as they are not aiding or assisting the party.

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