Mary Lou fails to sanction councillor over Varadkar remarks

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Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has decided not to sanction a party councillor who said he would like to see “someone who knows what it’s like to have kids” running the country as opposed to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Ms McDonald said Cllr Paddy Holohan’s remarks, including that Mr Varadkar’s Indian heritage meant he was “separated” from the rest of the country, were “wrong”.

But she stopped short of suspending the elected official after saying he had been asked to apologise for the remarks.

The comments, which the West Dublin former MMA fighter made on a podcast, have triggered huge criticism.

Questioned further by the Irish Examiner, Ms McDonald said: “I think you know full well that is not normal Sinn Féin position to make derogatory comments about any minority.

“In fact, our party is one of inclusivity and Paddy has apologised for his remarks and that was the correct thing to do.”

Cllr Holohan has said on Twitter that he is sorry and that people “misinterpreted” his remarks.

But Ms McDonald said she had spoken to him, adding: “Paddy has a podcast, and he talks about things and he expands on things.

“And I think he is very upset. Because he knows that he has upset people.”