Barry McElduff

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Barry McElduff
Barry McElduff.jpg
Member of Parliament
for West Tyrone
In office
8 June 2017 – 16 January 2018
Preceded by Pat Doherty
Succeeded by Órfhlaith Begley
Majority 10,342 (23.8%)
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for West Tyrone
In office
25 June 1998 – 9 June 2017
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Catherine Kelly
Personal details
Born (1966-08-16) 16 August 1966 (age 51)
Aghagogan, Northern Ireland
Political party Sinn Féin
Spouse(s) Paula McElduff
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast

Columba Barry McElduff (Irish: Barra Mac Giolla Duibh, born 16 August 1966)[1] is an Irish Sinn Féin member and former politician. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the West Tyrone UK parliament constituency. He was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Northern Ireland Assembly from its creation in 1998 until his election as MP in 2017. He resigned his seat on 16 January 2018 following a controversial video which was seen to be mocking the Kingsmill massacre.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Born in County Tyrone, and from Aghagogan townland, attended the Christian Brothers Grammar School in Omagh before attending Queen's University Belfast[3] and becoming an Irish republican activist for Sinn Féin.

Career[edit]

In 1992 McElduff was given an 18-month suspended sentence for assisting the IRA in the false imprisonment of a suspected police informer.[4]

At the 1992 general election, he unsuccessfully contested Mid Ulster. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for the West Tyrone constituency in 1996, and has since held this seat on the Northern Ireland Assembly.[citation needed]

McElduff has chaired the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee of the Assembly and has served previously on other committees, including Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Education and Employment and Learning.[citation needed]

In 2000, McElduff was elected to Omagh District Council. In 2012, McElduff and Lord Laird visited Scotland to learn more about potential Scottish independence.[5] At the snap general election held on 8 June 2017, he became MP[6] for West Tyrone.[7]

McElduff is known for performing comedy sets at Sinn Féin events, and in 2015 performed a stand-up gig in Omagh. He is also known for posting comedic videos on social media.[8] McElduff has published two books: Keep er' Lit (2012) contains short stories and anecdotes from his experiences of republicanism, Gaelic games and community activism, while Sustain the Flame (2015) looks back at his forays into social media.[8]

Resignation[edit]

On 5 January 2018, McElduff tweeted a video of himself in a shop with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head, asking where the shop kept its bread. As it coincided with the 42nd anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre—where republicans murdered ten Protestant civilians—unionists accused him of mocking the massacre and the video was widely criticised, including by nationalists. DUP leader Arlene Foster said "mocking is depraved" and called the video "inhuman".[9] McElduff deleted it and apologised, saying he was not alluding to the massacre and offering to meet the victims' families.[9][10][11] On 8 January, Sinn Féin apologised for McElduff's actions, condemned the video,[12] and suspended him from Sinn Féin for three months.[13] McElduff announced on 15 January that he was resigning his seat.[14] On 16 January the Chancellor of the Exchequer appointed Barry McElduff as the Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, an office of profit under the Crown which causes the holder's parliamentary seat to be vacated.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Northern Ireland Assembly". 
  2. ^ "Barry McElduff has resigned as MP for West Tyrone". BBC News. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  3. ^ McElduff, Barry. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 13 February 2018.  closed access publication – behind paywall
  4. ^ O'Loughlin, Ed (7 January 2018). "Tweet on Massacre Anniversary Puts Harsh Light on Sinn Fein Member". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  5. ^ "Lord Laird and Barry McElduff make an unlikely Union". BBC News. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Barry McElduff MP". UK Parliament. 
  7. ^ "Barry McElduff elected as MP for West Tyrone". The Ulster Herald. 9 June 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff's class clown persona falls flat". The Irish News. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Sinn Féin MP apology over Kingsmill tweet". BBC News. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018. 
  10. ^ Smith, Ryan (6 January 2018). "Sinn Fein MP Barry McElduff issues apology over Kingsmill video". Belfast Live. 
  11. ^ "Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff apologises over 'Kingsmill loaf' video on massacre anniversary". Irish Examiner. 6 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "Sinn Fein apologises for 'indefensible' video of MP posing with loaf of bread on anniversary of Kingsmill massacre". The Independent. London. 8 January 2018. 
  13. ^ "Sinn Féin suspends Barry McElduff over Kingsmills video". BBC News. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018. 
  14. ^ "McElduff to stand down as MP over Kingsmill video controversy". RTE News. 15 January 2018. 
  15. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/news/three-hundreds-of-chiltern-barry-mcelduff

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Forum
New forum Member of the Northern Ireland Forum
for West Tyrone

1996–1998
Forum dissolved
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly Member of the Legislative Assembly
for West Tyrone

1998–2017
Succeeded by
Catherine Kelly
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Pat Doherty
Member of Parliament
for West Tyrone

20172018
Succeeded by
Órfhlaith Begley