MICK WALLACE AND fellow independent TDs Shane Ross and Luke Ming Flanagan have come under fire after Wallace labelled Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor as ‘Miss Piggy’.
Wallace was recorded in conversation with his Dáil technical group colleagues during the order of business yesterday, unaware that a nearby microphone was recording what he was saying.
During an exchange with Ross and Flanagan, he is heard to say twice: ”Miss Piggy has toned it down a bit today,” with Flanagan confirming that Wallace is referring to Dún Laoghaire TD Mitchell O’Connor.
The audio has been uploaded by political blogger Suzy Byrne to YouTube with the offensive remarks to be heard from 1.10:
The full exchange is as follows:
Mick Wallace “…Miss Piggy has toned it down a bit today.”
Shane Ross: “Who’s that?”
Wallace: “Miss Piggy has toned it down a bit.”
Flanagan: “That Mary Mitchell O’Connor one. I couldn’t remember her name on Vincent Browne.”
Ross: “Was she on with you?”
Flanagan: “No she wasn’t…the one who drove off the plinth…they’d want to ban her wearing pink.” (Flanagan is referring to the incident earlier this year where Mitchell O’Connor took a wrong turn on her first day in the Dáil and drove down steps outside Leinster House)
Ross: “[Laughter]. Oh yeah, that’s right. She’s nothing sensational, she normally wears the most garish colours (trails off)…”
A number of Mitchell O’Connor’s party colleagues have heavily criticised the remarks and the behaviour of the independent TDs.
Fine Gael chief whip Paul Kehoe has indicated he is investigating the matter and that it may be referred to the Dáil Committee on Privileges and Procedure, according to the Irish Daily Mail.
Mitchell O’Connor’s party colleague, Alan Farrell tweeted last night: “Poor judgement by Mick Wallace TD. Calling a colleague a schoolyard name is beneath a parliamentarian.”
Mary Mitchell-O’Connor has told TheJournal.ie she will be responding to the matter later today.
Shane Ross and Luke Ming Flanagan could not be reached for comment this morning.