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I won't stop tweeting, vows controversial Cllr Looney

A DUBLIN politician whose tweets have described a minister as being "mad as a bag of spiders" and a soccer referee as "a muppet" says it's "only a bit of craic".

Councillor Dermot Looney has faced criticism for his controversial posts but said he doesn't mean to be insulting and his detractors need to lighten up a bit.

The Labour representative has attracted nearly 450 Twitter followers with his quirky posts on everything from RTE's soccer pundits to dating Rosanna Davison.

His online musings first came to public attention after he described junior minister Martin Mansergh as being "as mad as a bag of spiders".

The Airtricity League of Ireland fan has also referred to a soccer referee as a "muppet".

He fumed that RTE's Monday Night Soccer programme was offering "awful analysis of ref decisions" and accused pundit Roddy Collins of "making a fool of himself". And in between he found space to kick off an online row with Irish politics' most famous tweeter Dan Boyle.

Cllr Looney told the Herald today that his comments had attracted some negative and some positive attention but said: "I've been fairly honest with my views. That's the important thing."

He said that Twitter and Facebook allowed politicians to "talk more freely than they might normally be able to do".

"The political talk is open and honest. It shouldn't be restricted by political correctness. It gets people more interested than bland press releases," he said.

In relation to his tweet about a named referee, the councillor said: "They are just the real conversations people have."

Among his critics was Green senator Dan Boyle who was not too pleased when Cllr Looney tagged him in a post noting: "Pat Rabbitte wiping the floor with [Dan Boyle] on 4fm re pettiness on union contributions."

When the Green Party chairman replied asking if Cllr Looney had Labour membership, the councillor hit back: "I'm doing my best to hide it Dan, what with my twitter/facebook/blog/website/media work/elected position/etc."

Cllr Looney, who represents Tallaght, explained: "I suppose sometimes I raise the bar a little bit. I don't say anything insulting.



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"I was listening to Dan Boyle on the radio and I tweeted something about him. He tweeted back and there a bit of guff and craic in it."

He used the site to provide information on more serious topics including Tuesday's fire at Tallaght Hospital and bin collection arrangements for the bank holiday weekend. "It's bringing people who are not into politics into it and then they might read the more serious things I have to say," he said.

kdoyle@herald.ie


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