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Son of murdered Portlaoise prison officer calls for Sinn Fein senator to resign

Austin Stack has hit out at Sinn Feinn
Austin Stack and his murdered father (inset)

The son of a murdered Portlaoise Prison Officer has called for a Sinn Fein senator to ‘take the honourable action and resign’ following a social media post last night.

Senator Márie Devine has been suspended from the party for three months after retweeting a post describing IRA victim Austin Stack as a ‘sadist prison officer’.

The punishment is the same as the one handed down to MP Barry McElduff who posted a video with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Austin Stack rejected Sinn Fein’s apology.

He said that the fact Devine would be “welcomed back into the parliamentary party after 12 short weeks is a clear indication to myself and my family that this matter has not been treated seriously by Sinn Fein’s new leaders”.

Brian Stack was the chief prison officer in Portlaoise Prison when he was shot as he left an amateur boxing contest in 1983.

The new leader of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, defended the punishment and said it was more than a “rap on the knuckles”.

Speaking on Morning Ireland Ms McDonald said the matter was “dealt with as a matter or urgency.”

“She is in no doubt that she has been severely and definitively punished,” she said.

The senator’s actions showed the “poorest of poor judgement” and were “entirely unacceptable” Ms McDonald said.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.