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Dublin: 0°C Friday 23 April 2021

Sinn Féin 'not aware' recently reinstated councillor would be nominated for mayor

The party reinstated Paddy Holohan following a five-month suspension.

SINN FÉIN HAS said it was “not aware” that contentious councillor Paddy Holohan would be nominated for the position of mayor on South Dublin County Council.

The former MMA fighter was suspended from the party for five months, following criticism of comments he made about Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and women.

The recently reinstated councillor was nominated for the position by fellow Sinn Féin councillors, a move a party spokesperson said was a matter for council groups.

“Cllr Paddy Holohan was recently readmitted to membership having served a five month suspension,” a Sinn Féin spokesperson said. 

“Nominations in respect of council positions area matter for council groups. The party was not aware of his nomination.” 

Fianna Fáil’s Ed O’Brien was elected mayor this evening at the council’s annual meeting this evening, the first time in 17 years that South Dublin County Council has elected a Fianna Fáil mayor.

Holohan apologised for his comments about Varadkar to say that they had been “misinterpreted” after they were criticised by politicians from all parties. 

Holohan was suspended shortly after and a disciplinary process was launched.

The comments in question were made on two separate episodes of his podcast ‘No Shame’.

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When discussing Varadkar, Holohan said he believed a “family man with children” should run the country because it would give them a better understanding of certain policies. He also said that Varadkar was “separated from society” because of his Indian heritage, despite Varadkar being born and raised in Dublin. 

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald described his comments at the time as “upsetting” and “beyond offensive”. 

Fine Gael councillor James Geoghegan said Holohan’s nomination was “tone deaf” and called on McDonald to clarify her position.

 “At a time when millions of people across the world have shown solidarity to the Black Lives Matter Movement and on the weekend of Pride, it is deeply disappointing that Sinn Féin would nominate a candidate for mayor who displayed ethnic prejudices towards our Taoiseach,” Geoghegan said.

“Mary Lou McDonald should clarify whether she is supportive of Holohan becoming a Sinn Féin mayor and pledge that her party will not honour or reward public representatives who display prejudice of any form.”

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Adam Daly

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