Sunday 25 June 2017

Councillor criticised over insensitive tweet about boy with autism on The Late Late Show

Hayley Halpin

A Fine Gael Councillor has come in for criticism after an insensitive tweet about a boy with autism who spoke on The Late Late Show last night.

Hughie Malone, a boy with autism spoke on The Late Late Show last night about the symptoms of autism and how those with autism should be treated.

During Malone’s appearance on the show last night, Fine Gael Cllr. Brian Murphy took to Twitter and wrote: “Some kid on Late Late Show just said he wants to fly planes into buildings when he grows up #LateLateShow”

He then went on to blame what he said on his “depression” over the Ireland loss in yesterday’s Six Nations rugby match.




“My apologies for what I said about the young kid on the Late Late, I was depressed over the Ireland loss and just flicked on at the end.”

Cllr. Murphy has since retracted and deleted both of the above tweets. Screenshots of the original tweets are still available to view on Twitter.

Independent.ie contacted Cllr. Murphy for a statement to which he responded: “My reasoning was I did not even know he had autism, I only flicked on the late late a second beforehand after the rugby, I think he might have been telling a joke anyway.”

At 12:55am, he tweeted: “The kid on the Late Late was a great kid, I just quoted him from the Late Late, did not even know that he was joking or that he had autism.”


He went on to tweet a number of Twitter accounts including RTE News, Trinity Young Fine Gael and Fine Gael Mayo and stated that he “never abused anybody.”

Twitter users were quick to hit back at Cllr Murphy’s apology, with users calling him immature and ignorant.

“I don’t get sincerity in this. You referred to him as some kid & tweeted without facts & blamed rugby. How immature,” one user wrote.

Hughie Malone took his time on The Late Late Show to highlight how people should perceive and deal with autistic people.

“From what I’ve seen of it, there’s just so many different symptoms that are put under autism and they whole thing is that one person with autism could have combination of symptoms that would mean it would be absolutely impossible to prevent them from going outside and yelling in public,” he said.

“Another person could not be convinced no matter what to talk to someone. It’s just such a blanket statement.”

When Ryan Tubridy asked Malone if it annoys him when people blanket group those with autism, he said: “I think that does annoy me because some people just take the most common symptoms of autism and say that’s autism.

“A lot of people live their entire lives having autism and never get a diagnosis because a lot of people don’t want to admit they have autism,” he said.

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