Former MP who quit in Kingsmill video row wins council seat

A former MP who resigned after angering relatives of 10 Protestants shot dead in a sectarian massacre has won a council seat in the Northern Ireland local elections.

Barry McElduff was forced to resign his Westminster seat last year amid an outcry after he posted a video of himself balancing a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head.

It was posted on his Twitter account on the anniversary of the Kingsmill atrocity, which saw 10 workmen shot dead by republicans in Co Armagh on January 5 1976.

Barry McElduff Twitter post
(Barry McElduff/Twitter/PA)

The Co Tyrone man was elected to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on the fourth count. He will serve as a councillor for Omagh town.

It was widely expected he would secure a seat.

Mr McElduff acknowledged people will be angered by his council success.

He told the Press Association: “I have no control over that. I respect everybody in the community, irrespective of their background.

“I want to be as respectful and dignified as I can be when challenged.

“I want to acknowledge the suffering of everyone in the conflict. I respect everybody who has lost someone in the conflict. I’m an Irish republican, anti-sectarian and we have a vision of a new Ireland which is inclusive of all our citizens.

“Something happened that was perhaps misunderstood in some quarters, perhaps misinterpreted in other quarters, some of it wilful, some of it unwilful.

“All I can do is be true to my word. I’m very pleased with myself in that I took responsibility for my own actions, even if that was wholly accidental and wholly unintentional, I still believe I honoured high standards in public life by resigning as MP and then taking time out and re-emerging.

“I’m not trying to persuade anybody, I’m moving forward with as much integrity and dignity as I can do and I pledge to represent all of the people of Omagh.

“The people have elected me, the people have spoken. I’m very grateful to the people of Omagh.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster said she does not believe Mr McElduff has recognised the hurt and pain he caused to victims in Northern Ireland.

She added: “He has to answer for himself.”

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