Thursday 14 November 2019

Leo Varadkar calls for 'minimum of respect' in politics after vitriolic year

Louise Hogan and Fionnan Sheahan

A CABINET minister has called for the return of a "minimum level of respect" to become a new year's resolution in politics.

In the wake of the death of junior minister Shane McEntee, Transport Minster Leo Varadkar called for an end to personal attacks – particularly in the abortion debate, which has, in the past, generated a lot of vitriol.

"There are extremes on both sides who get very worked up about this issue and while I respect their opinions I think they need to be respectful of other people too," he said.

"Particularly after what happened with Shane McEntee, I think what we need next year – if I had a resolution for next year – I think it would be for everyone to restore that minimum level of respect for each other that I think that has fallen apart in recent years, not just in politics, it is in the media and everywhere else.

"Politicians are as bad at it as other people, the way we talk about each other. That would be a good resolution, particularly in the context of the abortion debates that people have that minimum level of respect restored where you can disagree with people but not attack them personally.

"I think the anonymous ones are the cowards and you almost feel sorry for them a little bit, but other people in politics and in the media incite them and encourage them and that needs to stop," he added.

Irish Independent

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