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Eamon Ryan says there's no space for 'demeaning' private messages after Green TD apology

Limerick City TD Brian Leddin apologised at the weekend for messages posted in a WhatsApp group.

Image: Shutterstock/Tada Images

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said that there’s “no space” for public or private messages that are “demeaning” of another person, in response to an apology from one of his party’s TDs at the weekend.

Chair of the Oireachtas environment committee and Limerick City TD Brian Leddin apologised on Saturday night for comments he made in a WhatsApp group he set up in 2017, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper reported that Leddin had called independent Limerick City councillor Elisa O’Donovan “unhinged” and said that “she craves fame”.

The Mail also reported that Leddin said he regretted his comment about the councillor, that it was “inappropriate”, and that he has since apologised to her for it.

Speaking in response to the story for the first time today, the Green Party leader told reporters outside Government Buildings:

He has issued an apology which is correct. There’s no space – no matter whether it’s private, online, or a WhatsApp message system – there’s no space for any commentary that is demeaning of the other person. So I think he has rightly apologised.

Leddin told the Mail on Sunday that he has since left the WhatsApp group.

In response to the possibility of sanctions, Ryan said that Leddin was talking to the Green Party’s executive and management committee in relation to that.

“We’ve done a huge amount of work internally in how WhatsApp groups in particular operate to make sure there is dignity and respect.

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“A lot of people have learned a lot of lessons in the last year or two about particularly how those WhatsApp groups need dignity and respect, so we’ve done a lot of work on that, and it’s implementing that now is key for us.”

With reporting from Christina Finn.

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