FINE GAEL COUNCILLOR AND NEW WIFE CRITICISED OVER HITLER NAZI SALUTE

THIS is the Facebook picture which has landed a leading Co Donegal Fine Gael councillor in trouble – a photo of his wife giving a Nazi salute beside a waxwork model of Adolf Hitler.

Lorraine O’Neill is pictured on her honeymoon this weekend with Fine Gael councillor and RTE producer Barry O’Neill in Rome.

The couple married less than two weeks ago before doing a tour of Europe.

Jewish groups and fellow Facebookers however are furious with the picture – insisting that it causes huge offence.

Cllr O’Neill has now removed the picture, telling friends that it was meant as a bit of craic and not meant to offend anyone.

However donegaldaily.com has been contacted by a number of Facebook friends – all of them condemning the picture.

One of them said: “I was shocked when to see the wife of elected councillor Barry O’Neill posting pictures of herself giving the Nazi salute.

“As you are aware, to simply adopt this gesture is illegal in Germany and Austria and I am personally offended beyond words as I lost ancestors to the Hitler regime.

“On inspection of other pictures, it is clear that Councillor Barry O’Neill took this picture, is this what it has come to? That the actions of one of the worst men in history can be copied and promoted like this? I am sure it is against the terms of usage of facebook too.”

Another Facebook friend with Jewish ancestry said: “I plan to make a complaint to Fine Gael about this. Doesn’t Cllr O’Neill know that gesture symbolises the mass murders of the holocaust.

“It is deeply offensive to everyone, not just Jews.”

Cllr O’Neill was unavailable for comment however a friend told us: “Barry is mortified that the picture which was taken as a bit of fun could be offensive. He would never want to offend anyone.”

Mrs O’Neill – Lorraine McCabe – can be see putting the fingers of her left hand behind the head of the Hitler dummy in the picture.

There is also a picture of Cllr O’Neill, wearing his RTE Radio 1 top, with another waxwork dummy.

The couple married on December 30 and held a reception for more than 350 guests at the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town.

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