A candidate for Ireland's newest political party Renua Ireland has apologised after he described sexuality as a 'lifestyle choice'.
hane Dunphy became involved in a debate on his first day on social networking website Twitter and, when asked was 'sexuality a lifestyle choice', he replied: "Sexuality would certainly classify as a lifestyle choice".
Dunphy, who is hoping to run for Renua Ireland in the next general election, said he was trying to clarify what issues 'we can vote on our conscience' after the party claimed members will be allowed a free vote on some issues.
"A matter of conscience is an issue involving life/death," he wrote when asked what did he mean by a 'matter of conscience'.
"Is the Marriage Referendum or the Children & Family Relationships Bill?", the person asked.
Dunphy replied: "Issues involving ethics and lifestyle choice also."
Dunphy was then asked; "Is sexuality a lifestyle choice?", to which he replied: "Sexuality would certainly classify as a lifestyle choice".
The candidate for Lucinda Creighton's new party has since deleted the tweet and apologised for any offence caused.
He later wrote: "I was trying to clarify which issues we can vote on our conscience and not have to follow the whip. That was all I was trying to say .
"Apologies for any offence. Will word things much more carefully in future.
"Okay - I have deleted tweet.
"It was a terribly misworded and offensive tweet that makes no sense. Day 1 on twitter, lesson leant [sic]," he continued.
"I also wish to add that I proudly support marriage equality and always have.
"Made a stupid mistake and deserved the online kicking I got."
The Twitter blunder is the latest controversy to hit the party which launched last week.
Despite a successful launch at Trinity College where Lucinda revealed the much-anticipated name of the new party, the party was hit with a series of mishaps.
Renua Ireland member Deputy Terence Flanagan's interview with ‘Drivetime’ broadcaster Mary Wilson hit headlines after it saw the TD stumble over his lines and appeared to forget some of his new party’s policies.
Former minister Mary O’Rourke has since urged Terence Flanagan to get some media training for future interviews.
Later, it was discovered that the party had failed to reserve a Facebook page for themselves, allowing people to take the official party's name and create a parody group online.
Today FM prime-time broadcaster Matt Cooper also took to his Twitter page to criticise new leader Lucinda for not coming on his show 'The Last Word'.
He told his followers that Lucinda was appearing on RTE's Late Late Show.
At one stage, RTE's Six One anchor Bryan Dobson waded in telling Matt that Lucinda wouldn't appear on 'Six One News' - but her husband and party colleague Senator Paul Bradford was appearing.
"No @LCreighton or @EddieHobbs on @lstwrd tonight. Saving themselves for rte tv 2night. Not interested in making a pitch to @lstwrd listeners.
"We have some really interesting guests, stories and topics on @lstwrd it should be said. Very happy with our line-up," Matt tweeted.
"Lucinda wouldn't come on the Six-One News either Matt, although I'm pleased to say we do hope to have Sen Paul Bradford," Bryan Dobson tweeted.
"I understood Shane Dunphy was going on. Trying to ensure a range of voices on all media not just Eddie [Hobbs] & I," Lucinda replied. The party leader added that she was trying to ensure a range of voices across media on Renua Ireland's launch day.