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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Louise Burne

Fine Gael TD questions whether Mary Lou McDonald is 'fully up to date' on her Sinn Féin colleagues

A Fine Gael TD has questioned whether Mary Lou McDonald is “fully up to date” on her Sinn Féin colleagues after her “profound shock” about criminal Jonathan Dowdall.

Dun Laoghaire TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill has said that the party still has questions to answer about the gangland criminal’s ties to Sinn Féin.

Mr Dowdall was sentenced to four years in jail for his part in the Regency Hotel shooting in 2016 in October.

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Dowdall (44) admitted that he assisted a criminal gang to commit the murder of David Byrne.

He previously served as a Sinn Féin councillor. It also emerged that Dowdall made a €1,000 donation to Ms McDonald’s Dublin Central constituency in 2011.

At the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis on Saturday, Ms McDonald said that she was “profoundly shocked” to hear about Dowdall’s links, noting that he had been a “person of very good standing in the north inner city of Dublin”.

It was the first time the party leader had spoken about the issue since he was convicted as she had not addressed the Dublin media in six weeks, despite repeated requests.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD pictured this afternoon leaving the CCJ in Dublin (Collins Photos)

Ms Carroll MacNeill has questioned if Sinn Féin knew about Dowdall’s gangland links.

She also questioned how his €1,000 donation was used.

“When Dowdall was elected a city councillor in 2014, Deputy McDonald was a leading Sinn Fein TD and at the epicentre of Dublin Central constituency for the party,” the Fine Gael TD said.

“In my opinion, either she and Sinn Féin didn’t have the local political network to be given the heads up on Dowdall, or they did and didn’t care.

“Is she fully up to date on all her other Sinn Fein party colleagues?

Jonathan Dowdall (file photo) (Collins)

“Could we please know how Dowdall’s €1,000 donation to Deputy McDonald in 2011 and published on Deputy McDonald’s SIPO filings was used?

“Is it the only donation from Dowdall to Sinn Féin? Why the secrecy?

“Had a Fine Gael leader taken €1,000 donation from a gangland criminal and torturer, all would want to know, right down to [the] last cent, what happened that money, and quite right.”

Ms Carroll MacNeill accused Sinn Féin of “dodging issues and scrutiny”.

At the party’s Ard Fheis in Dublin, Ms McDonald said that she was “profoundly shocked” when she learned of Dowdall’s links.

“Had we known that he was involved in any form of criminality, [...] he wouldn't have been anywhere near Sinn Féin,” she said.

“He wouldn’t have been anywhere near me or anybody else.”


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