Coláiste Mhuire on Parnell Square Sam Boal via
Parnell Square

Sinn Féin: TDs shared image of man near school stabbing scene to highlight 'antisocial behaviour'

The man was sitting on steps and drinking from a can.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 29th 2023, 9:43 PM

SINN FÉIN HAS said that a photo of a man drinking on Parnell Square posted to social media by the party leader, and subsequently held up in the Dáil, was to show that after last week’s stabbing incident, “this behaviour continues”.

A spokesperson for the party said that neither Mary Lou McDonald nor Louise O’Reilly TD claimed that the photo was taken at the school’s entrance, as some people had claimed. 

The man, whose face is not visible in the photo, appears to be drinking from a can.

He is apparently sitting on a step at a location beside the school, but not on the school steps.

Sinn Féin said that the photo and the comments from party members sought to highlight that “people do not feel safe in their communities”.

“It was never claimed that this was a photo of the school, but that it was in the vicinity as children left the school.

“Parents and the local community have for a long time bitterly complained about widespread antisocial behaviour in the vicinity of the school.

“Despite a vicious, random attack there on Thursday, this behaviour continues; as highlighted today.”

The photo, posted to X by McDonald this morning, was then held up in the Dáil by O’Reilly, who said that it “represents what Dublin city feels like” under the current government.

She 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.”

In response, Justice Minister 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.”

Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan also criticised McDonald’s tweet, 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.”

Meanwhile, Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said O’Reilly’s actions in the Dáil were “disgusting”.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Ó Ríordáin said: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour by SF in the Dáil chamber today waving a printed out photograph of a clearly vulnerable individual.”

Ó Ríordáin added that 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.