Sinn Féin suspends senator for three months over "unacceptable" Twitter activity
“There can be no excuse for the hurt and offence which has been caused."
Sinn Féin has suspended Senator Máire Devine with immediate effect.
The Dublin-based senator has been suspended over what the party has described as "unacceptable Twitter activity" after she retweeted an "offensive" tweet on Sunday evening.
The tweet in question called Brian Stack, a senior prison officer who was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army in the 1980s, a "sadist."
Devine's social media activity had further concerned the party after follow-up tweets appeared to focus on Stack's family.
Speaking on Monday afternoon after making a report to the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle, National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA condemned Devine's behaviour.
"This is unacceptable behaviour from a Sinn Féin elected representative," he said.
"The Ard Chomhairle has suspended, with immediate effect, Senator Devine from party membership and all party activities for a period of three months. The whip has been removed and Senator Devine will be outside of the Leinster House team for that period.
"Sinn Féin strongly disapproves of what has happened," added Kearney. "There can be no excuse for the hurt and offence which has been caused to the Stack family."
Following the suspension, Senator Devine expressed her apology via a press release on the Sinn Féin website.
"It was never my intention to cause any distress or hurt, particularly to the victims of the conflict," she said.
"I want to offer my most sincere apologies to the family of the late Brian Stack.
"I accept the decision by the party national chairperson to suspend my membership of Sinn Féin for three months.
"I deeply regret what has happened, and want to profusely apologise for all the offence and hurt caused by my Twitter activity."