A spokesman for the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland has called for an apology in relation to the recent photograph which showed a Donegal County Councillor’s wife giving what has been described as a Nazi-type salute beside a waxwork figure of Adolf Hitler.
It was alleged that the photograph, which shows newly married Lorraine O’Neill standing between figures of Mussollini and Hitler and giving what has been described as “Nazi-like salute”, appeared on Cllr. Barry O’Neill’s Facebook page.
However, earlier this week the Ballyshannon councillor vehemently denied that the photograph ever appeared on his page and threatened legal action on those who wrote the original article.
In a statement to the Donegal Democrat, Yanky Fachler of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland said, “The fact that any enlightened adult – never mind someone who works for the public broadcaster and a county councillor – would be so ignorant as to be unaware of the gross insult to the memory of the millions who were murdered by Hitler (my grandparents included) caused by taking such a photo – and posting it on Facebook – is beyond belief.
“It trivialises the Holocaust, it denigrates the Holocaust, and it displays unbelievable insensitivity. It also shows a huge gap in the historical awareness of the couple.”
He added: “If someone was to deride the Irish Famine victims in a similar fashion, there would be national outrage.”
Mr. Fachler continued: “I can only reiterate my strong suggestion that the councillor acknowledges the hurt his actions have caused.
“For him, his supporters and his party to make light of the damage done is only to add insult to injury.
“He should step up to the plate and realise that if you do something stupid, just stand up and say sorry.”
Attempts to contact Cllr. Barry O’Neill for comment last night proved unsuccessful.