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Sinn Féin politician and former MMA fighter expelled for suggesting Leo Varadkar is unfit to lead because he’s gay

Patrick Kelleher January 17, 2020
Leo Varadkar Paddy Holohan Sinn Fein

Leo Varadkar (L) (Jack Taylor/Getty) and Paddy Holohan (R) (Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE (Photo by Sportsfile/Corbis/Sportsfile/Getty)

Sinn Féin councillor and former MMA fighter Paddy Holohan has been suspended by his party after he made controversial comments about gay Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in a podcast.

In his No Sham” podcast, Holohan said he would prefer “a family man” to be running the Republic of Ireland.

“We need people running the country,” Mr Holohan said. “Someone that knows what it’s like to have kids, maybe, hopefully, boys and girls, so when you’re creating policies and stuff that’s going to go on, you’re like: ‘Right, it makes sense,'” BreakingNews.ie reports.

“I know what it’s like to collect my young fella from school so I know what school time traffic is like.

“When I’m making decisions, I can have an experience of it and bring that into the equation.”

He continued: “The man that is a family man, that goes to work, looks after his kids, has come up through the system, has experience, maybe is a solicitor as well so has that experience – that’s who should be running the country. Someone who knows what the masses of people are going through.”

Sinn Féin councillor Paddy Holohan also suggested that Leo Varadkar isn’t connected to Irish history because of his Indian heritage.

In other resurfaced comments made in an earlier podcast, Holohan claimed that Leo Varadkar isn’t connected to Irish history because of his Indian heritage.

“Leo Varadkar’s blood obviously runs to India. His great-grandfather is not part of the history of this country. Now Leo obviously is,” he said.

“He’s an Irish citizen but his passion doesn’t go back to the times when our passion goes back to,” he added.

Holohan issued a statement on social media yesterday where he tried to clarify his comments.

“Firstly, I would like to apologise as my comments may have offended people as I of course did not intend to do so.”

The man that is a family man, that goes to work, looks after his kids, has come up through the system, has experience, maybe is a solicitor as well so has that experience – that’s who should be running the country.

He added: “My comments have been misinterpreted and not in any way meant the way they have been portrayed.

“Thank you to the people that know me and have supported me. And understand that I would never make such remarks.”

Varadkar said he had accepted Holohan’s apology.

“We just need to raise awareness of the issue and make sure that we have a properly united country, whether you are a man or a woman, no matter what background you come from, whether you’re a member of the travelling community or not or who you love,” Varadkar said.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said his comments were ‘beyond offensive’.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said yesterday that the party had insisted he apologise.

Holohan came under fire again this morning when JOE.ie revealed that he once claimed in a podcast that “loads” of underage girls are having sex with older men in order to blackmail them. Just hours later, Sinn Féin announced on Twitter that he had been suspended from the party and a disciplinary process had begun.

Speaking to reporters today, Mary Lou McDonald said: “Obviously the comments themselves are offensive. They’re beyond offensive. I actually find them upsetting. I’m very, very shocked at the comments made and the party’s disciplinary procedure is now activated as we speak.”

Holohan’s comments come as the Republic of Ireland prepares for a general election on February 8.

More: Leo Varadkar, Paddy Holohan, republic of ireland, Sinn Fein

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