Sinn Fein, have Admitted a Weakness, Wow?

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Sinn Féin unsure how to ‘vet’ members after party worker robbed pensioner while putting up Mary Lou McDonald posters

 25th May 2022

Sinn Féin has said that it is “not sure” how party members can be vetted after one of its workers was jailed for robbing a chronically ill pensioner while hanging campaign posters in Dublin.

Sean Fitzgerald (34), of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, was carrying Mary Lou McDonald posters when he got into a row with motorist William Ryan (78), at Cromwellsfort Road, Walkinstown, on January 29, 2020.

Fitzgerald hit Mr Ryan’s car with his step ladder, sat into his front passenger seat, filmed him and tried to stop him calling gardaí.

The trial in the Dublin District Court also heard the victim, who has breathing difficulties, was knocked over a wall into a garden.

Fitzgerald then sat on his chest and told him, “you won’t be needing these anymore,” before taking his phone and car keys.

Fitzgerald, who had 23 prior criminal convictions, pleaded not guilty to the robbery but was convicted. He has been given a nine month prison sentence.

Party TD Eoin Ó Broin said that it is an “appalling” crime but that he is not sure how party members can be vetted.

“I’m not so sure how you vet members, we don’t have access to Garda vetting for example or those kinds of procedures,” he said.

“Obviously we try and ensure when people are active in the party that people have good standing but if anybody like this breaks the law they should be prosecuted and sentenced.

“It was an appalling crime and I think we’re all very pleased that the individual has been convicted and sentenced.”

Deputy Ó Broin said “nobody is above the law”.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re a party member, if you’re a party supporter or if you’re just getting involved in election activity, nobody is above the law and therefore we welcome the conviction.”

“And that’s happened on this occasion and I welcome that,” he added.

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