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Twitter Storm

'A stupid mistake': Renua candidate does not actually think sexuality is a lifestyle choice

Shane Dunphy said he is “kicking myself” after comments on Twitter last night.

A CANDIDATE FOR Renua Ireland has described a tweet in which he said “sexuality would certainly classify as a lifestyle choice” as “a stupid mistake”.

Shane Dunphy, who hopes to run for Lucinda Creighton’s new political party in Wexford, made the comments during the course of a Twitter discussion last night after he was asked what defines a matter of conscience.

Renua has said that members will be allowed a free vote on such issues, and in a series of Twitter exchanges, Dunphy sought to explain what defines a conscience issue:

Sexuality lifestyle choice exchange

When asked if sexuality is a lifestyle choice, Dunphy tweeted:

Sexuality lifestyle choice

The tweet drew considerable criticism and controversy last night and has since been deleted.

In a series of follow-up tweets Dunphy sought to clarify his comments:

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this morning, Dunphy said he was “kicking myself” and repeatedly described the tweet as “a stupid mistake”.

He explained that he had only joined Twitter an hour before the tweet was sent and was “just testing out the medium”.

While I was doing it my daughter was having a conversation with me about wanting to tape something on Sky Plus and I wasn’t paying attention [when I sent the tweet].

Dunphy said he was “horrified” that he would have offended anyone and said he feels like a “complete idiot”.

Asked if he did actually believe sexuality is a lifestyle choice, he said:

I don’t believe that. Sexuality is something that you are born with. People are born gay, people are born straight. That is the mistake I made. I sent it out without reading it properly. It wasn’t what I meant and I clarified that.”

He said he apologised for it and “deserve the kicking I got”.

Dunphy added: “I accept that it offended people and I apologise and I take it back. I am absolutely in favour of marriage equality, I do not believe that sexuality is a lifestyle choice.” 

It’s the third controversy to hit Renua since it launched a week ago.

TD Terence Flanagan endured a nightmare RTÉ Radio interview last Friday while it also emerged last weekend that one of Renua’s councillors had broken a pledge to voters to remain as an independent.

‘Completely daft’: This TD doesn’t think much of Renua Ireland…

Broken promise? Councillor defends joining Renua… despite telling voters he’d stay independent

Read: One of Lucinda’s Renua TDs had a nightmare interview and trended on Twitter

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