Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Oh for God's sake. I was pointing out the irony of their idiocy!' - top five Irish political social media gaffes

Charlie Flanagan
Charlie Flanagan
Mick Wallace Pic: Tom Burke
Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath
Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Gerry Adams’s use of the ‘N’ word sent Twitter into overdrive and prompted the Sinn Féin President to eventually apologise.

But he isn’t the only politician to display loose fingers when using social media. Some however have claimed to have fallen victim to hackers.


1. Charlie Flanagan and the ‘c’ word

The Foreign Affairs Minister created a New Year’s Eve Twitter storm after taking a swipe at what he initially described as Sinn Féin’s “cult politics”.

“2015 offers Ireland the choice of Constitutional politics or Cult politics,” Mr Flanagan tweeted.

But after another user suggested he had made an error in his tweet, Mr Flanagan replied:

“Yep left out the ‘n’.”

The remark sparked a furious response from the party’s then Justice spokesperson Padraig MacLochlainn. The minister later said he “regrets” if he caused offence.


2) Mick Wallace and the Paris attacks

Mick Wallace Pic: Tom Burke

Independent TD Mick Wallace sparked ire on Twitter with a comment made on the Paris terrorist atrocities.

The Wexford deputy tweeted:

“So terrible for the victims, but when is France going to stop it's role in the militarisation of the planet?”

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty wrote that the comment was the "most inhumane response to such a loss of life".


3)  Michael McGrath and the ‘milf’ page

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Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath revealed he was targeted by hackers after an image of a semi naked woman appeared on his Facebook page.

Mr McGrath expressed his disgust after being contacted by friends who told him that his profile appeared to ‘like’ a page which contains content of a sexual nature.

The page shows a picture of the 'MILF of the Day' which was 'liked' under the Fianna Fail representative's profile.

He said he would never “in my right mind” access content of such a sexual nature.


4) Aodhan O’Riordain and his ‘ironic’ football tweet

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Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Sometimes, irony can be lost on people - particularly if politicians are the ones trying to be ironic.

Labour’s Áodhan O’Riordain learned this lesson after he came under fire for a tweet about Chelsea football club.

The then Equality Minister issued the tweet in response to a video that showed Chelsea fans preventing a black man from getting onto the Paris metro.

The shocking incident, which was widely condemned, involved fans singing ‘we’re racist and that’s the way we like it’.

But Mr O’Riordáin created his own storm when he tweeted:

“To satisfy/punish their fans, Chelsea should play out the rest of the season with only white English players. (Do they have 11 of them?)”.

He later clarified:

“Oh for God's sake. I was pointing out the irony of their idiocy.”


5) “Eoin, did you collect the eggs”

Defeated Labour candidate Eoin Holmes

It’s the most harmless, but possibly one of the most talked about tweets from a politician.

Former Labour TD Sean Kenny sent Twitter into freefall when asking: “Eoin, did you collect the eggs?”

But who is Eoin? And what sort of eggs are we talking about?

Mr Kenny was responding to a claim made by his party colleague Eoin Holmes, who ran unsuccessfully in the Meath East by-election a number of years ago.

“Eoin Holmes from Meath East by-election said on radio he was going to collect eggs, hence tweet,” Mr Kenny explained later.

Any clearer? No, neither are we.

Online Editors

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