Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill’s cousin has this week been convicted of fuel laundering in Dungannon Magistrates Court.
Gareth Doris, who is 39 and from Coalisland, is a convicted IRA terrorist and cousin of newly appointed Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill. Doris is believed to have canvassed for the Sinn Fein leader in the past.
In 1997 Gareth Doris, then 19, was convicted in relation to a bomb attack on an RUC station. He was released under the terms of the Belfast Agreement.
The conviction will cause major embarrassment to Sinn Fein who have sought to build their election campaign on fighting corruption.
The latest criminal conviction comes only days after Gerry Adam’s former Solictor, Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory, announced that high profile South Armagh Republican Micksey Martin would not face charges in connection with the sectarian slaughter of 10 innocent Protestants at Kingsmill in 1972.
Martin, a close associate of notorious crime lord and former IRA Chief of Staff Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, is a key supporter of Sinn Fein and was seen as instrumental, alongside Sean ‘the Surgeon’ Hughes, in keeping South Armagh IRA onboard in the formative years of the peace process.
The conviction of a close relative of the newly appointed Sinn Fein leader will raise numerous questions for the party, and Michelle O’Neill in particular.