Mary Lou McDonald's decision to tweet a photo of a man allegedly drinking outside Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire has been condemned as “outrageous”.
On Thursday, three young children were attacked while leaving the school and the Sinn Féin President claimed in her tweet that “no lessons” have been learnt since then by the Government.
Earlier today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers' Rights Louise O’Reilly printed the photo out and showed it to the Dáil chamber, after which Deputy McDonald shared it on social media.
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, Irish Independent political reporter Gabija Gataveckaitė said TDs in other parties were distinctly unimpressed by their behaviour.
“She [Deputy O’Reilly] has got a lot of criticism,” Ms Gataveckaitė said.
“This saw immediate condemnation from not only the Government benches, the Justice Minister Helen McEntee but also Labour leader Ivana Bacik said, ‘Look, you shouldn’t be coming in and waving photographs like that around.’
“So, a lot of condemnation from different parts of the political divide.”
Deputy O’Reilly described the school community as “terrified and traumatised” and said the picture “represents what Dublin city feels like” under Minister McEntee.
'A vulnerable individual'
Ms Gataveckaitė said TDs from rival parties are concerned about the impact of Sinn Féin’s remarks on the man in the photo.
“We obviously don’t know the background behind the photo of that man,” she said.
“Why was he there? What was he doing? Whether he has addiction issues?
“We really don’t know the context and that was the criticism.”
Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said Sinn Féin’s actions were “absolutely disgusting” and said the man in the photo was “clearly [a] vulnerable individual”.
“This tweet is outrageous from someone who wants to be Taoiseach,” he wrote in reply to Deputy McDonald.
“If a FG minister did this they’d have to resign.”
Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan, in whose constituency the school is located, said the tweet was “ill advised and unfair”.
““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,” she said.
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Main image: Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald speaking to media outside Ringsend Irishtown Community Centre in Dublin in July 2022. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie