Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

16.21 4 Dec 2020


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Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley will make a "full personal statement" to the Dáil on December 15th, according to the party's leader.

Mary Lou McDonald said in a statement this afternoon that she met with Deputy Stanley today and that the pair discussed the "ongoing public commentary relating to tweets he has posted and a radio interview he gave in March".

She said: "At my request, Teachta Stanley will take next week to be with his family; for whom this period of public controversy and comment has proven very difficult.

"Teachta Stanley has this afternoon written to the Ceann Comhairle to request time to make a full personal statement to the Dáil on the 15th December."

The Public Accounts Committee Chairman (PAC) this week apologised for a tweet that appeared to glorify an IRA attack on the British Army during the War of Independence.

He said the Tweet was “insensitive” and fell below the standards of the Dáil.

A second tweet then emerged that suggested the Laois-Offaly politician was commenting on Leo Varadkar's sexuality after he was elected leader of Fine Gael.

The tweet from 2017 read: “Yippee 4 d tory. it’s Leo. U can do what u like in bed but don’t look 4 a pay rise the next morning.”

The Sinn Féin TD has since deleted his social media accounts.

'Homophobic inferences'

Meanwhile, speaking today, the Taoiseach has said a tweet referencing Mr Varadkar had an inference of homophobia about it.

Micheál Martin said: "I think it has exacerbated the situation, I don't quite understand his explanation in relation to that particular tweet but it clearly had homophobic inferences.

"That's not just my perspective, it's the perspective of many people who have read that particular tweet."

Deputy Stanley has rejected any suggestion of homophobic undertones saying his record on LGBT rights stands for itself.

He is facing calls to step down as chair of the PAC, with the Taoiseach saying his presence is bringing the credibility of the committee under question.

Additional reporting by Sean Defoe

Main image: Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley addresses the Public Accounts Committee. Credit: RollingNews

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