Podcasts The Floating Voter

Monday 19 November 2018

The Floating Voter: 'He regrets it' - Brendan Howlin on that tweet by Aodhan Ó Riordan

Leo Varadkar and (inset) Brendan Howlin
Leo Varadkar and (inset) Brendan Howlin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

LABOUR Party Leader Brendan Howlin has described Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's live radio comments during the Belfast rape trial as "mind blowing".

Mr Howlin said the Taoiseach's intervention while the trial of Irish rugby player Paddy Jackson was on going was "unfortunate is to put it mildly".

"For anybody to make comment publicly in the middle of a trial is bad. For a politician it is doubly bad and for a Taoiseach it is quite mind blowing," he told Independent.ie's Floating Voter podcast.

Mr Howlin also discussed comments made by his party colleague Labour Senator Aodhan O Riordain on Twitter in the aftermath of the trial.

Mr O Riordain was critical of the not guilty verdict and referred to the defendants as "smug well-connected middle class boys".

Mr Howlin said Mr O Riordain "regretted" his comments and took down the tweet almost immediately. However, it did gain more than 500 retweets.

"He spoke to me yesterday (and said) 'hands up, made a mistake, it should not have happened'," Mr Howlin said

Mr Howlin said he was happy he was not a juror in the controversial trial because "just reading the evidence was very disturbing".

He said everyone involved in the case comes away "wound" by the nine week trial in Belfast.

Mr Howlin also discussed the Government's decisions to expel a Russian diplomat and the forthcoming abortion referendum.

Online Editors

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