A woman who was at the center of a viral video controversy involving the former leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster, has resigned from her position at a school in Co. Armagh.
This week, Sinead Murtagh of Crossmaglen, who had approached Dame Arlene for a selfie at a business awards event held in the Europa Hotel, was named.
She chanted “Up the Ra” in a video that was later uploaded to the internet.
The former first minister’s father was almost killed by the IRA in 1979, and an IRA bomb attack on the school bus she was traveling on in 1988 caused outrage.
Ms. Murtagh hasn’t said anything about the situation in public yet, but it has come to light that she worked as a counselor as a volunteer at St. Paul’s High School in Bessbrook in the past.
The following was the school’s statement:St. Paul’s High School is aware of a social media incident and is following the appropriate procedures.The female in question had participated in the school on her own initiative.However, because of recent events, she has requested personal leave, and the school supports her decision.
“St. Paul’s High School continues to work tirelessly to promote multicultural harmony and embrace diversity.”
Since Ms. Murtagh is not employed by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, the managing authority for teaching staff declined to comment.
On social media, Ms. Murtagh has also received criticism for her actions since her name was made public.Additionally, a significant number have made disparaging and sexist remarks toward her.
Dame Arlene made the claim earlier this week that sectarian incidents had become commonplace and cited remarks made by Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill in the summer, when she stated that there was “no alternative” to the armed campaign of the IRA.
Ms. O’Neill responded by urging civil discourse in public settings.
Ms. Murtagh has been invited by Dame Arlene to meet with her and go to a cemetery in Co. Fermanagh to see how many lives the IRA has impacted.
Even though Ms. Murtagh had committed “a terrible mistake,” SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said last night that it was not helpful for anyone to personally attack her.
“Whenever allowed the opportunity to return to the occasion I’m certain she wouldn’t rehash her way of behaving,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is that political leaders have worked together for a generation to normalize and even eulogize the IRA’s actions, which has led some people to believe that these chants are appropriate ways to praise the IRA.The young woman in the video is not to blame for these incidents; rather, political leaders who promote IRA violence at every opportunity bear full responsibility.Additionally, it is difficult to reconcile the fact that the same political leaders reprimanded the young woman so quickly.
“My hope is that Arlene Foster and the young woman in the video can get in touch and come to terms so that they can forget about this incident.”