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TD Patrick Nulty was described as an "honourable and decent man" by a family friend, while others in his Dublin West constituency struggle to comprehend how the politician – who sent suggestive Facebook messages to a teenager – could have engaged in such "sordid" behaviour.

John Murphy, a personal friend of Nulty's family, said that while his behaviour was certainly unbecoming for a TD, his professional attributes and track record "speaks for itself".

"My family know him and he's an honourable and decent man," he said.

"He jumped into the resignation decision too quickly.

"He should have sat back and let things play out for a day or two and see what would happen.

"I take it on board that his actions were wrong, but as he said himself, there was drink involved."

Local woman Marie Ivers said she was surprised by the revelations, but was also unwavering in her support.

"He's a shy man and is the last person you'd suspect of behaving in this way," she said.

Another constituent, Philip Hickey (inset), said it was admirable that Nulty had proffered his resignation so quickly.

"He did the right thing by resigning. If he had left it for a day or two before standing down it only would have got worse for him," he said.

"I don't believe he will run as a candidate again in the future, but if he did I'd think twice as to whether I'd vote for him.

"It's a blemish which will always remain."