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Department for Infrastructure has serious questions to answer on ‘IRA tweet’ – Cllr Warrick

Screenshot of tweet.

TUV Braid Councillor Matthew Warrick has criticised the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) for its' response following a retweet that appeared on the Trafficwatch NI Twitter feed.


A post (screenshot below) by Sinn Féin's Francie Molloy was retweeted by Trafficwatch NI on Friday afternoon (14 July).


Trafficwatch NI is a public service social media account run by the Department for Infrastructure which provides updates on traffic and road conditions across Northern Ireland.



Screenshot of tweet.

The retweet received a number of responses while it remained on the platform, many of which expressed shock and anger.


The DfI Trafficwatch NI team responded at 5pm (below) on Tuesday before the retweet and subsequent response were both deleted.


Screenshot of tweet.


In a statement following the incident, a spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said:


“The Department is taking this matter very seriously. We continue to work actively with our IT suppliers to investigate this matter. Security measures on the platform remain increased.”


But Cllr Warrick questioned DfI's explanation of the incident and said the department has "serious questions to answer". He said:


“Traffic Watch NI’s Twitter feed should be a useful resource for the public to learn about problems motorists will encounter across Northern Ireland. It is, after all, paid for by the public as the account is run by the Department of Infrastructure.



“However, the sharing of pro-terrorist material by someone with access to the account is deeply concerning as is frankly the response of the Department.


“This is not a case, as the Department has claimed, of a “political tweet apparently retweeted by @TrafficwatchNI”. It was a tweet which celebrated a terrorist convicted of involvement in not one but three terrorist attacks which but for the grace of God would have resulted in innocent people being ushered out into eternity.


“Not just the retweeting but the pathetic response of the Department has caused gross offence to innocent victims of Republican terrorism. The casual response to a publicly funded account celebrating a terrorist is completely unacceptable.



“Anyone who knows the basics of how Twitter operates will find the Department’s claim that the account was hacked difficult to credit as well. Why did the hacking only result in this retweet? When did they regain access to the account? A much more credible explanation is that an employee of the Department is responsible. 


“The casual response of the Department, seeking to brush it off as merely a “political tweet” suggests that the powers that be do not regard this matter as being a serious as they should.”

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