Renua leader John Leahy has said that he is “upset” and “disappointed” that a controversial tweet about American civil rights icon Rosa Parks was deleted.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr Leahy confirmed that the tweet was in reference to the story of Margaret Cash and her seven children, who were forced to sleep in a garda station last Thursday night.
The party leader said that people who don’t accept “services” being offered will end up sleeping in garda stations.
The statement came following a since deleted tweet issued from the Renua account on Sunday.
The tweet read: “Always thought Rosa Parks was a simple brave woman who refused to give up her seat but it turns out she was a trained activist and the incident on the bus was orchestrated as part of an ongoing campaign. Could a similar incident be orchestrated for the media to go wild?”
Mr Leahy said the Cash family are being “exploited” for “the left agenda.”
The tweet was deleted following a social media backlash Mr Leahy however defended it saying that he was “upset” and “disappointed” that it was deleted.
He said that the story is being “used by left politicians,” and that “activists in this country are creating stories.”
“They are using these stories to make them relevant in the newspaper. They take a situation and use it to their advantage.
“There is lot more to it than meets the eye,” he told Independent.ie.
Mr Leahy said that “we get some things wrong in this country,” but thinks it’s “unrealistic” that no services were offered to the family.
“A family with that number of kids was not given any services? That is simply unrealistic,” he said.
“We get a lot of things wrong in this country, but there are services present. Why didn't the mother go to the local authority? Why didn't she contact the local HSE services? No local authorities will allow this.”
“I deal with homeless people. I dealt with some two or three days ago. The services are given. If they are not accepting these services, you will sleep in Garda stations.”
Mr Leahy said that in cases like these, everyone “just goes with the headline” and no one pauses to look at facts.
“Now that a few days have passed, the true facts are coming out. Everyone just leads with the headline nowadays, and no one wants to delve into the facts.”