“I don’t know what is wrong with another human being that they could be so blatantly horrible to another human being. I am very upset by this. I’m not going to pretend words don’t matter. They do,” said North Louth Senator Erin McGreehan as she responded to a controversial Sunday newspaper article.
Senator McGreehan was among a number of politicians singled out in the article, which criticised their appearance and they clothes they wore at a Fianna Fail event last week.
Taking to twitter was, she told The Argus yesterday (Monday), a reaction to “exactly how I felt about this blatantly horrible article.”
“To be honest, I could have cried when I read it, which was in the child in me I think. But, it was a childish article, one which had no added value, none that is clear to me anyhow.”
She said it was “widely accepted that politicians and people in public life are critiqued.”
“But this was entirely different, it was an exceptionally personal attack on appearances.”
She added: “It is so offensive, but also very disappointing, as I really thought that if we have learnt nothing over the last few years it is that you ‘play the ball, and not the man’.
“But this was just a cheap shot, and, again, one I feel that has no added value or aim, except perhaps to cause this type of storm, which is why initially I thought about saying nothing, not replying, so as to avoid highlighting it further.”
Within hours though, she had taken to social media, saying: ‘Nobody knows how hard it is for another person to get up in the morning to face the day, to pull themselves together and get stuck into whatever they have to face that day. Please in the face of all the mental health struggles that we are experiencing could people keep the nasty to themselves.’
Her comments drew widespread support from other public figures, including Taoiseach Michael Martin, and Irish television presenter, Love Island host, Laura Whitmore, who retweeted the Senator’s comments .
“This simply had to be called out,” she added. “Because it is bigger than me, or any of us it mentioned. It is about all of those people who are held back by what others say about them, and it is about the impact of bullying and nasty comments on mental health.”
“At the end of the day, it is not my job to look good. It is my job to represent the people in my constituency to the best of my ability, and that is exactly what I will continue to do.”