Enda Kenny's 'whinger' remarks have prove to be more than a political storm in a tea-cup
On Sunday the word ‘whingers’ entered the election lexicon, after the Taoiseach said some of his own constituents were All-Ireland champions of whinging.
The outburst comes against the backdrop of mounting anger in Enda Kenny’s hometown, with the closure of several businesses in recent months and a lot of people in Mayo questioning the Taoiseach.
The Fine Gael leader visited his hometown of Castlebar on Saturday, just two days after the closure of The Welcome Inn hotel, with the loss of 45 jobs after near six decades in business.
It is the latest in a series of events that has led to an undercurrent of anger towards the Taoiseach from some in the county.
Kenny last night issued a statement to The Connacht Tribune newspaper in which he claimed he was referring to the Fianna Fáil campaign in Mayo, but not before he had doubled down on his remarks while speaking to Newstalk.
When asked who he was referring to with his previous comments, Kenny said:
“Locals. Nothing to do with national politics at all. Obviously you get this all the time, but sometimes I find that people find it very difficult to see any good anywhere anytime.”
Opposition parties have pounced on the remarks, with Gerry Adams and Micheal Martin both pointing to ‘extraordinary arrogance’ in Fine Gael.
Lisa Chambers of Fianna Fáil and other candidates in Mayo are calling for an immediate apology.
The Taoiseach has withdrawn a remark he made about "whingers" in Castlebar, Co Mayo at the weekend.
Enda Kenny has said on Monday morning that he had not intended to offend any of his constituents, insisting that he was referring to rival Fianna Fáil politicians.
Newstalk was in Mayo this weekend, speaking with locals and Mr Kenny’s constituency rivals – finding out why this issue is more than just a storm in a teacup for the Taoiseach, and why so many in the county are asking: "What has the Taosieach ever done for us?"