Sinn Féin suspends Paddy Holohan over "beyond offensive" remarks


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

13.42 17 Jan 2020


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Sinn Féin has suspended its councillor Paddy Holohan from the party after comments he made on his podcast.

The South Dublin county councillor and former MMA fighter yesterday said he "apologised to anyone who was offended" by remarks he made about Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on the show - claiming his comments had been "misinterpreted".

However, further controversial remarks have since emerged.

Speaking to artist and director Terry McMahon, Cllr Holohan said he would not run female-only classes at his gym because he 'believes in equality.'

Cllr Holohan claimed that "in the true struggle for equality between genders and between feminism... I think equality was lost".

He said: "I very, very, very rarely get a lad texting me saying do you run male-only classes."

He noted that if he ran male-only classes he would "be slated" for hating women.

Mr McMahon said he understood why some women would want female-only classes, "because they may be afraid or because they may have been attacked - because this is the problem, there are some scum men out there".

Responding to Mr McMahon's suggestion, Cllr Holohan said: "There is some f***ing scum women out there as well.

"There was a situation I heard during the week, where somebody was underage... the person didn't know they were underage... the girl pursued the guy... got whatever she needed, had pictures and videos, and then said 'I want ten grand'. That wasn't the first person - there were loads of them.

"People go 'that doesn't happen' - absolutely, I'm putting my hand on my heart... I tell you it does happen, and it is happening out there."

Disciplinary action

Sinn Féin today confirmed Cllr Holohan had been suspended with immediate effect.

Speaking in Bray earlier this afternoon, the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the recently-emerged comments had only come to her attention.

She told reporters: "I have moved immediately to the party's disciplinary procedures - that matter is now in hand, and disciplinary action will be taken.

"Obviously the comments themselves are offensive... they're beyond offensive. I actually find them upsetting.

"I am very, very shocked at the comments made, and the party's disciplinary procedure is now activated as we speak."

Ms McDonald had yesterday said apologising "was the correct thing to do".

Leo Varadkar has previously said he accepted Cllr Holohan's apology.

The South Dublin county councillor had suggested that the Taoiseach's "passion doesn't go back to the times when our passion goes back to" as his "blood obviously runs to India".

He also claimed he would rather a "family man" was running the country.

Main image: File photo of Paddy Holohan. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

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