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File photo. Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
bark or bite

MEP McGuinness writes to harassment committee over Ming Flanagan's 'puppy' remarks

Flanagan says the remarks have been taken out of context.

FINE GAEL MEP Mairead McGuinness has written to the European parliament’s committee that deals with harassment complaints regarding Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan referring to her parliamentary assistant as a “puppy”.

“I have asked for guidance from the Advisory Committee on this matter,” McGuinness confirmed in a statement.

I have not sought, either directly or indirectly, an apology from the MEP involved, Mr Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, nor do I intend to. I will be making no further comment.

In an interview on Shannonside Flanagan said that his use of the phrase has been taken out of context.

He explained that he made the comments after no Fine Gael MEPs turned up to meet survivors of sexual abuse in Irish schools who were visiting Brussels.

Referring to McGuinness’ assistant, who was present, he said “If you want to win a greyhound derby, don’t send a puppy”.

“Fine Gael, who are in Government, couldn’t bother and didn’t bother to send a single MEP to meet them after they travelled the whole way to Brussels,” he said to the radio station.

Yet, you’re asking me to apologise to an assistant for saying ‘If you want to win a greyhound derby, don’t send a puppy’. Really?

The Midlands-North-West MEP also addressed the controversy on Twitter.

READ: ‘No plans’ to close GMIT Mayo campus despite Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan claims>

READ: What happened when British people were asked to draw the Irish border>

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