Norris withdraws remarks and regrets ‘any offence’
Senator accepts language used about FG’s Regina Doherty was ‘intemperate’
Earlier today, Minister for Public Reform Brendan Howlin said the debate on the Seanad should not degenerate into any personal animosity. “I expect that there would be robust debate about that but it shouldn’t be one that would degenerate into any personal animosity or personal commentary,” Mr Howlin told reporters.
Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor said she was “really disgusted” by Mr Norris’s “fanny” remark, describing it as crude, offensive and deeply inappropriate. “I think he is a bigger man than what he showed yesterday. I think it was misogynist what he said yesterday,” she told Newstalk Breakfast.
She believed Mr Norris “had intent” and had prepared it “in his head”, she said in a separate interview on RTÉ Radio. Ms Mitchell O’Connor said it was a “new low” and one which “diminishes women”.
“It hasn’t been a good week for Fine Gael women the way they have been treated,” she told RTÉ Radio referring also to an incident involving Fine Gael TD Áine Collins being pulled by her colleague Tom Barry onto his lap during a Dáil debate on abortion.
Mr Bruton said this morning the debate had to avoid “degenerating into name-calling” after his statement on the savings of abolishing the Seanad was compared to Nazi propaganda. He said the figures he quoted were “directly from the Oireachtas Commission.”
Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White yesterday compared Mr Bruton’s comments to “propaganda from Hitler”. She said Mr Bruton had a responsibility not to tell lies. “These people are ignorant on their information on this Senate. It does not cost €20 million a year,” she said.
Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O’Brian was asked about the comments by Ms White and said that “those analogies do nothing for the discussion around the purpose of keeping the Seanad”. However the “misinformation” put out by the Government did not stack up and the cost was €8.8m, he told RTÉ Radio.