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Mattie McGrath wants 'twatters' regulated

The independent TD is not happy about a certain government minister’s tweets.

Updated 5.35pm

Source: Video

INDEPENDENT TD MATTIE McGrath is NOT happy about junior minister Áodhan Ó Ríordáin’s tweeting in recent days.

McGrath took issue with the equality minister’s tweeting about pro-life campaigners yesterday as Ó Ríordáin got into a Twitter row with independent senator Rónán Mullen.

This afternoon the Tipperary South deputy took to the Dáil to raise his concerns during the Order of Business:

There is an old adage there that if there’s too many tweets the person, the tweeter, becomes a twat. Are we going to have government by tweets? Minister Ó Ríordáin is tweeting about unsavoury issues and insulting GPs and insulting pro-life people.

His mic was cut off by the Ceann Comhairle before McGrath appealed for a response from the Taoiseach in relation to the Broadcasting Amendment Bill. He then added:

We have to regulate these twatters.

Enda Kenny briefly informed McGrath that the legislation in question is due later in the year.

“And you can tweet that,” he added.

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‘Reign in’

In a statement issued this afternoon, McGrath called on Kenny to “rein in ministers” over their Twitter use, saying they are using the social media platform to “deliver offensive and dismissive messages to sections of the community”.

In addition to Ó Ríordáin, McGrath also cited Leo Varadkar’s sharp exchanges with GPs over the weekend in relation to free care for under-6s. He said:

Social media is an excellent tool for communicating about ideas and events; but when it is being increasingly used by Senior Ministers to communicate vitriolic and patronising messages then questions need to be asked.

He added: “These are senior people in our government that we are talking about, not petulant adolescents. However, that distinction is becoming increasingly difficult to make in light of the recent social media activity of both ministers.

We do not want a situation where the cautionary advice of ‘too many tweets maketh a twat’ is ignored.

Watch the entertaining exchange in the video above. 

Read: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Rónán Mullen are having a bit of a row on Twitter

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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