Belfast Telegraph

Barry Walsh resigns from Executive Council after social media storm

Fine Gael Executive Council member Barry Walsh has resigned his post amid a storm about his social media posts.

Mr Walsh said he wanted to end a "trial by media" he claimed had taken place after Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell complained to the party about the content of Twitter messages about her and other women.

"I deeply regret the tone and language I used in some of my tweets," he said in his resignation letter.

"I realise that some of my remarks have caused serious offence to many people and I apologise unreservedly for that."

He said the furore had placed "intolerable pressure on my family and friends".

In the letter to Fine Gael Executive Council chairman Gerry O'Connell, Mr Walsh wrote: "As you know, I first got involved in politics because I have passionate views on many issues and have always enjoyed robust political debate, however I accept that with many of these tweets I took the political jousting a step too far."

Ms O'Connell's complaint is being investigated by the party.

Mr Walsh wrote: "I look forward to this matter being considered by the Fine Gael Executive Council at its earliest convenience, and I am resigning without prejudice to any disciplinary investigation which may be undertaken by the party in relation to this matter.

"I won't be commenting publicly on this matter until that process has concluded."

Earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he thought it would be best if Mr Walsh resigned.

Attending a political summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Fine Gael said: "Mr Walsh's conduct is below the standards of what I'd expect from a Fine Gael officer."

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