Martin distances himself from flag row
Published 14/05/2015 | 02:30
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has distanced himself from one of his close party allies who called for the removal of an LGBT rainbow flag from Cork City Hall.
Speaking at a canvass in Dublin city centre, Mr Martin said he disagreed with Cllr Terry Shannon's remarks and did not hold the same views.
"I don't agree with what he said at the council chamber. He has his own views and I don't agree with him on that," Mr Martin said. "I don't think it was necessary at all, in my view."
Mr Shannon had called on council chief executive Ann Doherty to remove the LGBT flag which is flying above Cork City Hall.
Mr Martin insisted that Mr Shannon was supporting the 'Yes' campaign and would be voting 'Yes' on polling day. He also said Mr Shannon was unlikely to face any sanction for his comments.
"We are not in the business of doing that. We are concerned about getting the vote out," Mr Martin said. Asked about media reports as to cuts in State funding to the Catholic marriage advice service Accord, Mr Martin said the timing of the announcement was "appalling".
Speaking at the same event, Senator Averil Power made an impassioned plea for people to vote in support of gay people throughout Ireland, especially young gay people.
She also said a rejection of the referendum would "feel like a kick in the stomach" to thousands of gay people in Ireland.