Thursday 19 September 2019

FG member in tweets row is suspended

Stock photo
Stock photo
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A Fine Gael national executive member who was forced to resign from his position over social media comments has been suspended from the party for a year.

Barry Walsh, a former Young Fine Gael president, will also see his voting rights restricted.

However, it is understood he has appealed against the decision.

Mr Walsh was forced to resign from the executive after Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell raised concerns about comments he made on social media.

Mr Walsh posted derogatory comments on Twitter about female TDs and prominent abortion campaigners.

Mr Walsh described Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall as "b***hes".

He was also critical of actor and pro-choice activist Tara Flynn for having an abortion.

Ms O'Connell lodged a complaint with Fine Gael headquarters and also distributed copies of Mr Walsh's tweets at a parliamentary party meeting.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar called for Mr Walsh to resign from his position after the comments emerged. Mr Varadkar said he expected Fine Gael officials to hold themselves to a "higher standard".

Mr Walsh resigned soon after - claiming he had been subjected to a "trial by media". He said he regretted the "tone and language" used in his tweets.

Mr Walsh did not respond to requests for comments.

Irish Independent

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