herald

Friday 9 December 2016

'Voters sick of political families', wrote Andrews

Sinn Fein candidate Chris Andews tweeted that ‘the public were sick of political families’.
Sinn Fein candidate Chris Andews tweeted that ‘the public were sick of political families’.
Joseph Rafferty

Sinn Fein candidate Chris Andrews said the public were "sick of political families" despite coming from one of the country's most high-profile dynasties.

A dossier of tweets he sent using a fake account shows how he lashed out at dynasties, including his own.

Mr Andrews is a grandson of Todd Andrews who was heavily involved in the early days of Fianna Fáil.

His father Niall was a Fianna Fáil TD and his uncle David served as Minister for Foreign Affairs, while his cousin Barry is also a former minister.

Chris Andrews is no longer a member of Fianna Fail, having quit the party in 2012 after it emerged that he was using a Twitter account under the identity @brianformerff to criticise colleagues.

He was unmasked as the person behind the tweets after a sophisticated investigation by the husband of one of his targets.

A year later he joined Sinn Fein despite having attacked the party and its leader Gerry Adams over their links to the IRA.

The report compiled as part of the investigation into his twitter activity shows that in April 2012 he sent a message to the daughter of former MEP Eoin Ryan, saying: "The public are sick of political families and public sent out that message to the Lenihans, Andrews and the Aherns."

He added: "And instead of listening to the public and FF diehards ignore public and elect another of the Ryan dynasty!! No real change!"

Royalty

Three weeks later he returned to the issue, tweeting: "The electorate got rid of Lenihan and Andrews dynasty because they couldnt (sic) tie their shoe laces between them. Listen to the electorate."

Another tweet said: "The Andrews, Lenihans and Ryans thought they were royalty and electorate got rid of them because they want new blood."

Mr Andrews also targeted Cllr Jim O'Callaghan who is a brother of RTE journalist Miriam and a candidate for Fianna Fail in the same constituency ahead of Friday's vote.

He pointed out that Mr O'Callaghan was part of Bertie Ahern's legal team. "Now he is part of Martin's legal team!! How does that work?" he tweeted 18 times.

In a series of tweets Mr Andrews also lashed out at his current party, linking them to bank robberies, murders and other crimes.

In recent weeks he has been described as a "hypocrite" by the family of innocent murder victim Joseph Rafferty.

Mr Andrews had helped the family in their campaign to get justice and attended meetings with gardai where a man closely associated with Sinn Fein was named as the suspect.

The candidate says he is still willing to help the Rafferty family in any way he can.

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