NewsCrime Desk

Mary Lou paid glowing tribute to “waterboard torturer”

Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams and Jonathan Dowdall
Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams and Jonathan Dowdall

SINN Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald paid a glowing tribute to former councillor Jonathan Dowdall in September 2014 when he stepped down from his role as an elected representative of the party in Dublin’s north inner city.

Ms McDonald said she would miss Dowdall in his elected role, and added that she wanted to “thank Jonathan for all his hard work for the party and for the local community”.

On Friday, the deputy leader of Sinn Fein moved to distance herself from the disgraced politician after the Special Criminal Court heard evidence of how he had “waterboarded” and “tortured”

Alexander Hurley and threatened to feed him to dogs and “burn his head at the stake”.

Mr Hurley, who has prior fraud convictions, pleaded for his life as Dowdall covered his face with a cloth and doused his head with water, while his father Patrick Dowdall threatened to cut his fingers off with pliers “knuckle by knuckle”.

The victim also claimed that Mr Dowdall told him he was a friend of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and Ms McDonald.

The father and son, who pleaded guilty to threatening to kill their victim, are due to be sentenced later this month.

Ms McDonald issued a statement condemning Dowdall’s actions, which was followed by a tweet that showed him in the company of her constituency rival and former lord mayor Christy Burke.

Independent councillor Mr Burke accused her of stooping to a “new low” and said he has been approached by Sinn Fein supporters who expressed their disgust at her actions.

Ms McDonald yesterday defended the tweet.

“It is a matter of public record that Mr Dowdall left Sinn Fein, went on to support and work for councillor Burke and campaigned against Sinn Fein,” she said. The photos I posted reflect those facts.

Councillor Burke needs to make clear his position on the actions of Jonathan Dowdall.”

Ms McDonald also said she is standing by her demand for the abolition of the Special Criminal Court, despite publicly welcoming the conviction of her former protege.