A Co Armagh DUP election worker has caused a storm on social media after branding a Sinn Fein Westminster candidate “a tramp”.
Roberta McNally, who signed nomination papers for the DUP’s Upper Bann candidate David Simpson, has since removed offensive comments in which the word “taigs” was also used.
The storm has erupted after both the DUP and Ulster Unionist Parties failed to agree a single candidate for an Upper Bann election pact.
Mrs McNally, in response to a comment on Facebook, had posted, “wise up (name) on a first past the post of course the vote can be split and I don’t call stating the FACT that if the vote is split that tramp Seeley has the potential to be the next MP scaremongering!!”
Another post, which has also been removed, stated: “Unionists attacking unionists on social media, taigs must love it !!”
The DUP election worker, and chairperson of the Lurgan British Legion Branch, has been condemned by Sinn Fein and accused of sectarianism for her remarks against Catherine Seeley, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
Ms Seeley faced a previous sectarian campaign against her just over a year ago during her employment as a teacher at a school in North Belfast.
Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd, Ms Seeley’s election agent, said the recent “sectarian and derogatory comments should be withdrawn and condemned by all”.
“This type of sectarian and insulting language is not acceptable in any circumstance. The DUP and David Simpson must immediately clarify their position on these remarks and join the call for their withdrawal, and for an apology,” he said.
“Sinn Féin made a number of attempts to engage in a respectful way with Mrs McNally last autumn before Remembrance events. These recent comments may now go some way to explaining why she was unwilling to engage in the same dignified way as the Portadown Branch of the British Legion who also met with Deputy Mayor Seeley.
“Sectarianism and this type of personal attack on Catherine Seeley will not deter her from continuing to fight a progressive, inclusive and mature election campaign, nor will it deter her from doing her best in carrying out her Mayoral duties.
“Nonetheless, the sitting MP David Simpson must clarify his position on these remarks.”
Pictures: Mrs McNally pictured with David Simpson MP; the offensive Facebook post; and (right), Mrs McNally and the DUP team.
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