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Labour Senator's attack on election rival continues amid calls to withdraw 'sexist remark'

An image, posted by Lorraine Higgins’s social media accounts, branded Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan a “turkey”.

Updated 3.31pm

A LABOUR PARTY Senator has come under fire on social media after her social media accounts doctored images of a European elections candidate on Facebook and Twitter.

The posts by accounts apparently run by Lorraine Higgins, a candidate in the elections for Midlands-North-West, attacked Independent candidate and constituency rival Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan by posting images of him and advising followers not to vote for him.

“Don’t send another turkey to Europe,” the post reads.

“Electing him to the European Parliament is as good as sending Dustin to the Eurovision.”

The image features Flanagan standing in a peat bog, with Dustin the Turkey’s beak and eyes superimposed on his face.

Dustin performed for Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008.

However, speaking to TheJournal.ie, Higgins denied she was singling Flanagan out.

She described the posts as just “a bit of tongue-in-cheek for the week that’s in it”.

“My view is that he’s a populist candidate,” Higgins said, noting that the EU parliament is a “very serious” environment, and suggested the Flanagan would “sit on the fringes [making] noises”.

“I am just using the power of social media to make a statement.

“Sexist remark”

Labour Women have issued a statement this afternoon calling for Flanagan to “withdraw his remark that Lorraine Higgins only wanted to get to Europe to ‘look good’” made during an RTÉ Drivetime debate.

“Labour Women is calling on Ming to apologise for his comments to Lorraine and withdraw this sexist remark immediately.”

In a separate statement earlier this morning on Higgins’ campaign launch, she again mentioned Flanagan.

“We should not be putting trust in a disenfranchised shemozzle acting as prophets of doom, yelling conspiracy and fear without a shred of responsibility for the positions they hold,” she wrote.

Manipulating media and ideological buzz words this group, of which Ming Flanagan is the personification, stand for nothing more than the promotion of apathy and cynicism and will deliver zero for this country.

FB post LH Source: Lorraine Higgins via Facebook

 

“Don’t think that is a very professional manner to conduct your campaign,” one Facebook commenter wrote.

“In fact I am very disappointed that you feel the need to ridicule another candidate in the campaign.”

Other comments criticised the image, calling it “very poor taste”, “immature”, and a “sick joke”.

Many came to the defence of Flanagan, currently a TD for Roscommon South-Leitrim.

“He may be controversial but at least he is being heard and the peoples views are being heard through him,” one wrote.

Originally published 7.11am. TheJournal.ie has attempted to contact both Deputy Flanagan for comment.

Ming: I was followed by an unmarked Garda car… and so was John Wilson >

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Nicky Ryan

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