Friday 21 October 2016

'Some of them wouldn't know sunshine if they saw it' - Taoiseach has 'no regrets over All Ireland Champions of whinging' comment

Published 21/02/2016 | 13:21

Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD
Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD

THE Taoiseach has said he doesn't regret calling some residents of his hometown "All Ireland champions" at whinging.

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Mr Kenny made the remarks at a Fine Gael rally in Castlebar. Fianna Fáil candidate for Mayo Lisa Chambers has since called for an "immediate apology" from the Taoiseach.

Earlier today, Mr Kenny was asked he he regretted the comments.

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"No I don't," he replied adding: "Some of them wouldn't know sunshine if they saw it."

Mr Kenny initially made the remarks after visiting three businesses in Castlebar that are expanding and hiring. He also visited the local IDA business Park where an new advanced technology building will employ as many as 300 in the years ahead.

On campaign stops in Mayo Mr Kenny has emphasised that he has had to focus on national and international issues, rather than local concerns.

In his speech to supporters in the town Mr Kenny didn't hide his disappointment at some of the local response to his time in office.

"God knows we have some All-Ireland champions here in Castlebar. I don't mean Castlebar Mitchells [GAA club], I mean the whingers that I hear every week saying there's nothing happening.

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"Well I want to assure them that the future is very bright. All we have to do is maintain the progress in terms of our economy. We'll look after our hospitals, we'll look after our schools, we'll look after our infrastructure. We'll look after the people who create jobs and business and give them that opportunity to grow in the time ahead."

Later he was asked what he meant by whingers and replied: "Locals - nothing to with national politics at all. Obviously you get this all the time but sometimes I find that people find it very difficult to see any good anywhere, anytime."

Fianna Fáil's Ms Chambers today called for an apology.

“The arrogance that has been the hallmark of Fine Gael in Government and their national campaign is now emerging locally and is a sign of the pressure the Taoiseach is beginning to feel," she argued.

“The Taoiseach must apologise to the people of Castlebar for his insensitive and out of touch remarks,” she added.

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