Irish News

Thursday 21 August 2014

Michael O'Leary says 'sorry' for Queen Elizabeth sex jibe

Louise Hogan

Published 01/04/2014 | 02:30

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Michael O’Leary
Taoiseach Enda Kenny talks to Joint Clerk of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Sinead Quinn. Picture: Damien Eagers
Taoiseach Enda Kenny talks to Joint Clerk of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Sinead Quinn. Picture: Damien Eagers
Minister of State at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes TD, a former BIPA member, (centre) and Irish co-chair Joe McHugh TD (seventh left) along with  members of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly during a visit to the Irish National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, Dublin.
Minister of State at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes TD, a former BIPA member, (centre) and Irish co-chair Joe McHugh TD (seventh left) along with members of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly during a visit to the Irish National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, Dublin.

OUTSPOKEN Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary apologised for a joke about "making love" to the Queen of England at a high-level gathering of British politicians.

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Mr O'Leary's opening remarks to the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly caused upset among the audience, as a UK MP called on him to withdraw them.

Just days ahead of President Michael D Higgins's much-touted visit to England, Mr O'Leary (pictured) told those gathered in Dublin: "It is a great pleasure to be here and in such august company."

"Addressing such an august body as this reminds me much of making love to the queen of England – you know it is a great honour, you're just not sure how much pleasure it is going to be."

British Conservative politician Andrew Rosindell MP described the remarks as "inappropriate" and asked the businessman to consider withdrawing the comments.

"I happily apologise for my opening remarks. It is always hard to judge the room. It normally is a joke that works quite well and I thought it might work well here," said Mr O'Leary at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

"I didn't mean to convey any discourtesy and I apologise if I did."

Mr Rosindell, an MP for Romford in the UK, told the Irish Independent he was pleased the businessman had withdrawn the remarks.

"I hope that he'll learn the lesson not to make comments about the queen in that way, or any head of state in a disrespectful manner is not acceptable, especially at a conference like this when British and Irish parliamentarians are making stronger friendships," he said.

The event was also attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Irish Independent

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