Wednesday 21 March 2018

Ross says sorry for tweets about trip

Shane Ross
Shane Ross
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

INDEPENDENT TD Shane Ross has apologised for his "disrespectful" remarks about the upcoming state visit to Britain by President Michael D Higgins.

Mr Ross posted a series of bizarre tweets about the historic visit, which included a tongue-in-cheek reference to 'Christopher Robin'.

Just minutes after details of the trip were announced, Mr Ross tweeted that he hoped Mr Higgins "won't read us his poetry" and asked what Eamon de Valera would have thought.

However, he later withdrew the comments, which he admitted were "disrespectful" to Mr Higgins and the Queen.

"So Michael D is off to see the queen. Just like Christopher Robin. He will do us proud staying in Windsor Castle," Mr Ross wrote, adding: "What would Dev think?"

He followed the remark up with another tweet: "Bet Michael D follows state visit to queen by summons Dail for state of nation speech. Mary Robinson did. Hope he won't read us his poetry."

The Dublin South TD immediately apologised for the comments – however, the controversial tweets remained on the Twitter page last night.

"That was disrespectful to both queen and president. Apologies to Aras an Uachtarain. He is a great president. I love him dearly," he wrote.

President D Higgins will not respond. However, a source close to Mr Higgins last night said he did not believe the tweets had caused offence, adding that Mr Ross nominated him for the presidency.

"This was obviously ill advised and it was somewhat bizarre but Shane Ross has been a supporter of the president so I don't believe there was any offence intended," he said.

Mr Ross did not respond to calls last night.

Irish Independent

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