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28 April 2013 Edition

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Dick Roche ministerial advisor forced to stand down over his H-Blocks bile

Fianna Fáil spin-doctor disowned for tweeting that Hunger Strikers ‘deservedly died painfully’ and ‘burning in Hell’

The next day, Kearon made a half-hearted apology to his local Wicklow News, saying his comments were in bad taste

STEPHEN KEARON, an advisor to Fianna Fáil Environment Minister Dick Roche and PRO for Fianna Fáil in County Wicklow, has been forced to withdraw his nomination for his party’s Ard Chomhairle and resign all the party positions he held after he said on Twitter that the H-Blocks Hunger Strikers “deservedly died painfully”. He went on to say that Bobby Sands was “burning in the eternal fires of Hell”.

His comments came in the wake of the death of Margaret Thatcher in a tweet to 4fm radio chat show host Niall Boylan. Kearon said:

“Thatcher deserves our gratitude for ensuring Provo thugs and criminals who didn’t like prison food deservedly died painfully.”

The comments sparked an unprecedented backlash against the Ballinaclash man across social media, with a number of prominent Fianna Fáil members swiftly distancing themselves from his statements. An online campaign to have Kearon expelled from Fianna Fáil gained over 1,500 supporters within just a few hours.

The next day, Kearon made a half-hearted apology to his local Wicklow News, saying his comments were in bad taste. The apology came after Fianna Fáil disowned him, describing what he had said as “totally unacceptable” and adding that they “did not in any way represent the views of Fianna Fáil”.

Kearon subsequently announced he was withdrawing from Fianna Fáil internal elections and resigning from all positions he held within the party, which included Wicklow PRO and chairperson of his local cumann. “I have no comment to add except to apologise again for the hurt and outrage I have caused,” he said.

Kearon has long been a controversial figure on Twitter, where he has over 29,000 posts with the most vitriolic being reserved for Sinn Féin and progressive voices.

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