Lurgan Royal British Legion chairman Roberta McNally is refusing to resign but has apologised after using the word ‘taigs’ in a Facebook discussion.
Mrs McNally faced an online and media storm after using the derogatory word on Facebook
I feel this is a concerted effort to discredit me because of my association with David Simpson and his election campaignRoberta McNally
Mrs McNally, who signed DUP candidate David Simpson’s Westminster Election nomination papers, also labelled Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council deputy mayor Catherine Seeley a ‘tramp’ while discussing the possibility of the Sinn Féin candidate winning the Westminster seat in Upper Bann due to a potential split in the unionist vote.
And her superiors at the Royal British Legion are investigating the remarks.
Roberta told the ‘MAIL’: “With reference to the media reporting on a comment I made on facebook. I wish to place on record my sincere apologises, this was an off the cuff remark and certainly was not intended to offend anyone. I have many Catholic friends who I hold in high esteem and they know I would not offend them at any costs. I feel this is a concerted effort to discredit me because of my association with David Simpson and his election campaign. Unfortunately the good name of the Royal British Legion has been dragged through the mud in this endeavour. I will not be resigning my position in the Royal British Legion, I will be continuing in my efforts to ensure that all who paid the ultimate sacrifice will be always be remembered and the welfare work of the RBL is carried out at the highest level.”
Brian Maguire, Area Manager for the Royal British Legion in NI, said: “The Royal British Legion is a non-political, non-sectarian organisation. We are here to help all serving members of the Armed Forces, ex-Service men and women (veterans), their families and dependants. All members of the Legion must abide by its Code of Conduct. Whilst it is Legion policy not to comment in detail on specific cases, I can confirm that an internal investigation has been commenced into this matter.”
Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd, Ms Seeley’s election agent, called for the ‘sectarian and derogatory’ comments to be withdrawn. He said his party tried to engage with Mrs McNally last autumn before Remembrance events. “These recent comments may now go some way to explaining why she was unwilling to engage.”