Social media users have levelled criticism at DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr after a tweet in which he called Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald “Loopy Lou”.

It came in a retweet by Mr Paisley of a thread from BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, in which she was giving an account of Mrs McDonald’s meeting with PM Theresa May on Wednesday.

The thread recounted that Mrs McDonald claimed the DUP had not given a “true and accurate” picture of negotiations, and that Mrs McDonald had accused the PM of allowing the DUP to block power-sharing at Stormont.

Mr Paisley wrote: “Loopy Lou’s Party walked out of Stormont”.

Dublin-based Sinn Fein councillor Paul Donnelly tweeted in response: “I thought at one stage last year that we really saw shift in terms of mutual respect and understanding after Martin’s death.

“You played a real part in that and it’s pretty disappointing to see your comment today.”

Former Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness died in March of 2017.

Writing underneath the original tweet, a number of users questioned the appropriateness of the comment considering the focus on respect in negotiations to restore Stormont.

“Do you think that is appropriate, Ian? Name-calling like you’re in a playground.  This isn’t America, that stuff isn’t acceptable,” wrote one user.

“Letting your side down Ian with comments like that, also letting Northern Ireland down,” wrote another.

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