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TD criticised for Sinéad O'Connor 'mad as brush' message

The singer appeared on the Late Late last night after an online war of words with Miley Cyrus in which the US performer had made reference to O’Connor’s past mental health problems.

Image: Screengrab/RTÉ

A DUBLIN TD is coming in for criticism after referring to Sinéad O’Connor, who appeared on last night’s Late Late Show, as being ‘mad as a brush’.

The singer had been invited onto the show to talk about her online war of words with Miley Cyrus, which began earlier this week with O’Connor writing an open letter giving advice to the younger artist. As the back-and-forth continued, Cyrus posted a message on Twitter making light of the Irish singer’s history of mental health problems, prompting criticism from charities working in that area.

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell, who represents Dublin North, posted this message on the social media site following O’Connor’s appearance last night:

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The message was met with a mixed response, with one Twitter user saying the singer hadn’t presented herself well but that her arguments made a “lot of sense”.

However, Farrell came in for criticism from others, with journalist Rodney Edwards asking:

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In his reply, Farrell chose not to answer the question directly, saying “what is far more worthy of our concern is the willingness of our ‘national’ broadcaster to give such a person an airing”.

Later, the TD said he was happy to stand over his initial Tweet:

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Speaking to TheJournal.ie this morning, CEO of advice and information service Reachout.com Elaine Geraghty said the comments weren’t helpful:

“The point about what we do is to try and encourage young people to seek help,” Geraghty said.

“We’re trying to demistify mental health and demistify the language around it to make it a part of everyday conversation. In light of that comments like this are unhelpful.”

Geraghty added: “Less of that kind of language would go a long a way in terms of encouraging young people to have conversations about mental health.”

Calls to Deputy Farrell from TheJournal.ie this morning went unanswered.

[Youtube: RTÉ]

Read: Sinéad O’Connor believes music is being murdered >

Read: Sinéad O’Connor to appear on tonight’s Late Late Show to discuss Miley Cyrus row

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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