A politician in Ireland’s newest political party has quit – after Facebook posts in which she claimed the Vatican is “riddled” with gay sex.

Mary Smyth had been selected to stand for the new right-wing Renua Ireland party for the Cavan-Monaghan constituency.

However, the candidate was asked to step aside this week after making a number of controversial comments on Facebook.

The candidate had labelled the Pope “the Antichrist” after he allowed St. Peter’s Basilica to be used for a light show to coincide with climate talks.

She added that the Vatican as “corrupt, riddled with gay sex and adoration of wealth”.

A spokesperson for the new party told theJournal.ie: “On discovering the views, and prior to any media enquiries, the leader wrote to Mary Smyth requesting one, were these views her actual views and two, expressing great concern, in particular about references to gays, that such references should be extremely hurtful.

“Renua is a party which believes in freedom of conscience but freedom of conscience does not give you the freedom to say anything.

“These matters have now obviously been subsumed by the decision of Mary Smyth to not contest the election.”

Ms Smyth said of her candidacy previously: “I work as a Counselling Psychologist in private practice throughout Cavan and Monaghan. I am also a qualified nurse, and I am the mother of two young teenagers.

“I am Pro-Family, Pro-Life and Pro-Community. I am in Renua because I wanted to be in a party that values honesty, integrity, and decency.

“I was tired of the lies, betrayals and false promises of the current Government parties. I wanted a party leader that I could respect and trust in all the important issues.”

She added that “Renua Ireland [is] the first party in Europe where each member must sign up to a code of high ethical principles.”

The party was set up earlier this year by Irish TD Lucinda Creighton – who previously served as a Minister of State for Fine Gael but lost the party whip after rebelling during an abortion vote.

Fine Gael previously had to distance itself from Ms Creighton after she insisted marriage was between a man and a woman and attacked same-sex adoption.