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Independent TD Patrick Nulty resigns over drunken message to 17-year-old

He’s stepping down with immediate effect, hours before the revelations were expected to appear in a Sunday newspaper.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 9.11pm

INDEPENDENT TD PATRICK Nulty has unexpectedly resigned from the Dáil this evening ahead of revelations in the Sunday World newspaper that he sent explicit messages to a 17-year-old girl.

The Dublin West TD stepped down hours before the paper is due to publish a story saying that he sent explicit messages to the girl.

Nulty was elected as a Labour TD in 2011 in the by-election which followed the death of Brian Lenihan, but he lost the whip less than two months later when he voted against the government on the Budget.

Here’s his resignation statement in full:

I am today resigning as TD for Dublin West and will take all the steps necessary to do that immediately this week.

I sent inappropriate messages via facebook. This included inadvertently sending one to a 17 year old woman To the best of my knowledge I have never met this woman and the message was sent while under the influence of alcohol.

I apologise wholeheartedly to the woman involved and to her family. It was never my intention to upset anyone in this way but it was totally wrong

The message was entirely inappropriate and I take full responsibility for my actions. For this reason I have decided to resign my seat in the Dail. I set myself the highest standards personally and politically. Unfortunately due to personal mistakes I have not met those standards in this matter and I will take responsibility for that. I still believe passionately that Ireland can be a fairer and more just society based on equality and social justice but at the present time I believe to resign is the correct and right course of action.

I would like to extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to all my family, friends and supporters who have given me so much support over the last five years as a public representative. In politics people very often do not take responsibility for their actions. I hope I am doing that. I would further like to apologise to my constituents in Dublin West for my mistake. I hope they will understand my reasons for resigning and accept my apology.

I hope that as I have taken decisive and direct action on this matter my privacy will now be respected in what has been a very difficult decision for me personally.

Nulty officially resigned from Labour in June of last year having been a frequent critic of the party and the policies it had been pursuing in government.

He was among a minority of Labour members who opposed going into coalition with Fine Gael in February 2011.

Nulty had recently become part of a loose alliance of independent left-wing TDs, Independents Network, which is providing training and advice for local and European election candidates ahead of the 23 May vote.

His resignation triggers a by-election in Dublin West which will legally have to take place within the next six months. The constituency’s current TDs include government ministers Leo Varadkar, Joan Burton and the Socialist Party’s Joe Higgins.

Nulty narrowly beat Fianna Fáil in the October 2011 by-election, indicating that the largest opposition party will be in pole position to take the seat.

Additional reporting from Daragh Brophy and Hugh O’Connell

Read: TD Patrick Nulty resigns as Labour Party member

Read: Nulty to vote against Budget – 40 days after becoming a Labour TD

Read: Labour’s Patrick Nulty takes Dublin West after count drama

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