Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland

Posted By: February 17, 2016

Tory poll candidate: I visited Vatican to ‘know my enemy’

John Monaghan. Irish News (Belfast). Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Conservative candidate for the assembly election has referred to trips to the Vatican and the Holy Land as “knowing your enemy”.

Sophia Nestius-Brown made the remark in a social media exchange with former Ulster Conservatives and Unionists candidate Ian Parsley, now a member of the Alliance Party.

Commenting on a photo of a trip to Jordan posted by Ms Nestius-Brown on Facebook in December, Mr Parsley asked: “Vatican and the Holy Land within a couple of months. What’s that about?!”

She replied: “Know your enemy.”

A profile of prospective assembly candidates on the Northern Ireland Conservatives website states that Ms Nestius-Brown, who works as a management consultant at an IT firm in London, grew up “in the countryside of south Down and attended school in Downpatrick”.

Outlining her main priorities for the May election in South Down, she refers to the economy, the NHS and ending segregated education.

She writes: “Ending school segregation so that children can learn in an environment which reflects the society in which they live.

“A vote for me in South Down is a vote for grown-up politics which focuses on the needs of the community rather than political point scoring.”

The Tories polled poorly in last year’s Westminster election in South Down. Candidate Felicity Buchan registered just 318 votes.

Ms Nestius-Brown could not be reached for comment