On Friday morning the Sinn Féin vice-president, Mary Lou McDonald, was confronted by a self-styled “concerned citizen” on O’Connell Street in Dublin, to the delight of the gathered conservative media. According to the Irish Independent:
“The man, who declined to identify himself but said he ran a small business, accused the party of planning to “kill pensions”.
He said he was “apolitical” but that he would probably be voting for Fine Gael.
He declined to give his name when asked by reporters.
“I’ve no interest in talking but that’s my point,” he said.
“Sinn Féin annoy me by the way they go around and I just felt so incensed about it,” explaining why he confronted Ms McDonald”
The story was naturally given prominence by the press, and the individual was featured as something of a heroic, middle-class “Everyman” on the social media accounts of several right-wing journalists. So far, so fair. Unfortunately none of the numerous reporters who recorded the verbal street-attack on SF and McDonald were able to get the protester’s name or indeed make any effort to follow up on his identity. Which is perhaps not entirely unsurprising since the incensed middle-aged owner of a “small business” has turned out to be one Fergus Crawford, the CEO of the investment firm, Sarasin & Partners, part of the billion euro Swiss private bank, J. Safra Sarasin. In other words, a representative of the affluent, self-entitled “entrepreneurial” elites who brought this island nation to its knees in 2008.
As an aside, some sources are now claiming that the investments manager, who protested Sinn Féin’s plans to tax an extra 7 cent on each euro earned in excess of €100,000 per year, is the brother of the former high profile Fine Gael politician and TD, Seymour Crawford, who represented the constituency of Cavan-Monaghan from 1992 to 2011, as well as serving as the vice-chairman of the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body in the early 2000s. Crawford retired at the last general election, his seat being gifted to his FG colleague, the controversial Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, a fellow Ulster Presbyterian. However it seems unlikely that the two are related, given the financier’s forename of “Fergus” and his attendance at the exclusive Marian College in the affluent Ballsbridge district of Dublin, an educational establishment for the offspring of super-rich Taigs.