One foul tweet from a journalist provokes a delightful online response

Pat Finucane commemoration and Ruth Dudley Edwards
Peadar O'Cearnaigh

On 21 May, councillor John Finucane became Lord Mayor of Belfast. Finucane is son of human rights solicitor Pat Finucane, murdered by Ulster Defence Association (UDA) terrorists on 12 February 1989.

While most people welcomed his election, journalist Ruth Dudley Edwards did not. Instead, she launched a personal attack on Finucane. And her attack not only spectacularly backfired but also proved she’s stuck in the past. Dudley Edwards tweeted:


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In December 2012, Sir Desmond de Silva’s report found “shocking levels of state collusion” in Finucane’s murder.

Reaction online

The reaction showed people’s disgust with Dudley Edwards’ tweet. It also showed how irrelevant her viewpoint is. The majority in Ireland is dealing with and moving on from the past conflict in the north. But Dudley Edwards’ tweet does neither. In responding to her outdated comment, people tweeted:

Further offence

Dudley Edwards apparently wasn’t satisfied with the disgust and offence she caused, so she responded:

The response to that tweet was clear and accurate:

Dudley Edwards’ reply mirrors a comment made in the House of Commons just three weeks before Finucane’s murder. On that occasion Tory junior minister Douglas Hogg said there were a number of lawyers “unduly sympathetic to the IRA” in the north of Ireland.

Detectives investigating claims of collusion in Finucane’s murder interviewed Hogg about that comment. Finucane represented both loyalists and republicans and his family denies he was involved with the IRA.

Dudley Edwards’ credentials

In a short but damning assessment, journalist and expert on the conflict in the north of Ireland Eamonn Mallie told us just how little Dudley Edwards actually knows about the north’s conflict:

Dealing with the past

The Finucane family lost its challenge over the decision not to hold a public inquiry into Finucane’s murder. But the supreme court ruled that an effective investigation into his death has not been held.

The majority of people in Ireland are doing their best to deal with the aftermath of that conflict. Dudley Edwards’ tweet shows she stands alone.

Featured image via Flickr – Sinn Féin / YouTube – Century Ireland

Get involved

  • Read about the Pat Finucane Centre who help victims of the conflict in the north of Ireland.

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