Fianna Fáil has deleted from its website all statements predating Micheál Martin’s leadership.
A day after Martin described Sinn Féin’s deletion of press statements from its website as “Orwellian”, the Fianna Fáil leader has refused to explain why his party has done the same thing. His party also refused to comment.
Martin became Fianna Fáil leader in January 2011. The oldest press release on Fianna Fail’s website is a 13 October, 2011 statement on common agricultural policy reform from former ceann comhairle Seamus Kirk, who was a party TD for Louth at the time.
According to archived versions of Fianna Fail’s website on Wayback Machine, the party has published statements on its website since at least March 2009. Fianna Fáil would not confirm when it deleted statements published from 2009 to late 2011.
Statements removed from the site include a 26 July, 2010 press release from former Dublin North Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kennedy welcoming “the government’s commitment to continue with the Metro North Project and Dart Underground”.
“Martin meets Cork Association of New York” was the title of another now-removed press release posted on the party’s website in Martin’s name on 26 September, 2011.
After the Irish Independent reported on Sinn Féin deleting statements from its website, the taoiseach invoked George Orwell.
“I read a comment from deputy McDonald yesterday, the leader of Sinn Féin, that the archives are being changed. Kind of Orwellian, I thought to myself,” said Martin to reporters in Washington, DC.
Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher, who also had a post deleted from the party’s website, told the Irish Independent that Sinn Féin’s decision to delete old media statements shows that its views on “major issues have always been wrong”.