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Sinn Fein rapped over controversial mayoral post nominee

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Paddy Holohan

Paddy Holohan

Paddy Holohan

Sinn Fein has come under fire after nominating a controversial figure for the post of South Dublin County Council mayor.

Belfast SDLP councillor Seamas de Faoite said Paddy Holohan was "unfit" for the job.

The former mixed martial arts fighter, who was recently reinstated after a five-month suspension from Sinn Fein for making disparaging remarks about women and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, was not elected to the post.

Mr de Faoite said "homophobia, misogyny and racism are not qualities of a first citizen", adding that he found it very strange that the Sinn Fein councillor had only been suspended for five months.

"The public backlash has demonstrated that his comments were ill-befitting of public office," he said.

"Particularly, in the week when the Pride march in Dublin was due to take place and within the wider political context of Black Lives Matter.

"He has also made racist comments about the family background of the Taoiseach, as well as his sexuality.

"Again, we need to view this in the context of the Me Too era and public concern about how we view sexual assaults."

In a No Shame podcast in January, Mr Holohan claimed he had heard of "loads of" underage girls pursuing men and then blackmailing them for up to €10,000. There were, he said "some f*****g scum women out there".

Those comments followed other remarks Mr Holohan made about the Taoiseach, his background and his homosexuality. He questioned Mr Varadkar's connection to Ireland because of his Indian heritage and said he would prefer a "family man" to be Taoiseach. He also said: "Leo Varadkar's blood obviously runs to India so his great grandfather is not part of the history of this country."

Holohan later apologised for his comments about Mr Varadkar, saying he had been "misinterpreted".

At the time Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald launched disciplinary proceedings, saying Mr Holohan's comments were "beyond offensive" and "vile".

"I actually find them upsetting," she said.

Sinn Fein Dublin councillor Eoin O Broin also criticised the decision to put Mr Holohan's name forward for mayor, saying he did not think it was the right thing for the councillors to do.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: "Councillor Paddy Holohan was recently readmitted to membership having served a five-month suspension.

"Nominations in respect of council positions are a matter for council groups. The party was not aware of his nomination."

Fianna Fail's Ed O'Brien was elected mayor in South Dublin on Friday instead.

Belfast Telegraph