Tuesday 21 May 2019

Politicians slam TD Mattie McGrath's bizarre 'fat lady' comments about Senator Noone

  • 'I won't be dignifying those comments with a response' - Noone
  • Politicians slam Tipperary TD's comments
  • Mr McGrath has since called Ms Noone's office to apologise for the remarks
Catherine Noone
Catherine Noone

Cormac McQuinn and Denise Calnan

A number of politicians have slammed 'fat lady' comments Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath made about Senator Catherine Noone as chairperson of the abortion committee.

TD McGrath made the bizarre comment while discussing the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment with the media this morning.

"The fat lady hasn't sang here yet and I'm not talking about the chairperson of the committee or anybody like that," he said.

He quickly added: "best not to say it like that".

Then he said: "I'm just saying that as an old saying. It's up to the electorate.

"And I look forward with all my colleagues here I'm sure being taking place throughout the country.  And if there's is a referendum the people will have the final say, thankfully to repeal the Eighth or otherwise."

Newstalk journalist Sean Defoe posted a video of the TD's comments on Twitter, where Labour senator Aodhán O'Ríordáin has slammed them as "buffoonery".

He wrote; "This man’s buffoonery has been tolerated for far too long.

Mattie McGrath Photo: Arthur Carron
Mattie McGrath Photo: Arthur Carron

"Now the inevitable has happened.

"What a disgusting degrading comment. @senatornoone is ten times the person and the politician that McGrath will ever be."

Local Green Party politician Una Power also hit out at the TD.

"This is repugnant behaviour from anyone let alone an elected representative. Utterly nasty stuff from Mattie McGrath. Actually disgusted by this. 

Ms Noone, a Fine Gael senator, who has been praised for her work chairing the committee, told Independent.ie; "I won't be dignifying those comments with a response."

It's understood that Mr McGrath has since called Ms Noone's office to apologise for the remarks.

The committee will today begin to cast a series of votes relating to the repeal and replacement of the amendment, which gives equal status to the life of the mother and her unborn baby.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told the Dail he would like for the referendum on abortion to be held in May.

He said for this to happen, the Government will require the full support of the House.

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