I see there's been another twist in the Eddie Espie saga within the SDLP. The former Vice-Chair is incensed after being sent a message via MSN messenger referring to him as a "wanker" (I think we can do without the *** on Balrog, we'll all called each other worse!)
Eddie Espie's wife has reacted furiously saying;
The child was ill. Then this thing came up. He started asking why? It’s one thing saying something to somebody during a row. Saying it to somebody’s child is completely different. Whatever rows there are between people about politics, it’s nothing to do with the family. O’Doherty knew it was a family computer, he knew it sits in the living room.
Ok a couple of points on this. While it may be a family computer, when somebody signs onto MSN, its fair enough for another person to assume that the person signed on is the person they are talking to. I assume what has happened is that Mr. Espie's MSN automatically loads up whenever anybody goes on the internet. This is undoubtedly an annoying feature of the instant messaging service but one that Mr. Espie should have been aware of before allowing his children to use the internet connection. I know from my own experience that this can easily happen. My sister has somehow managed to get our family computer signing automatically into MSN and so when I go onto the internet, unless I remember to cancel the sign in, I am bombarded with the kind of nonsensical chit-chat that 15 year old girls like to engage in.
What has happened here is unfortunate but I really don't think John O'Doherty is entirely to blame. I know John O'Doherty and have worked with him on issues in the past and he is a decent fellow, committed to his party and who works hard on the issues he believes will be of benfit to nationalists and the community in general. If all SDLP members were committed, decent and hard-working activists like John O'Doherty, I really don't think the party would be in the mess it is today. I feel that if offence has been caused by misguided comments, then there should be an apology made and that should be the end of the matter. There is no need to make a mountain out of a very insignificant molehill.