Fine Gael councillor apologises for ‘inappropriate’ past tweets

Varadkar constituency ally Ted Leddy acknowledges posts as ‘insensitive’

Fine Gael councillor Ted Leddy has apologised for past tweets. File photograph: Collins Courts

Fine Gael councillor Ted Leddy has apologised for past tweets. File photograph: Collins Courts

 

A Fine Gael councillor and constituency ally of Tanáiste Leo Varadkar has apologised for “insensitive and inappropriate” tweets he sent in the past and which he has acknowledged as his.

Fingal county councillor Ted Leddy (39), whose electoral area is Castleknock in west Dublin, tweeted on April 26th, 2017, that: “Some serial welfare cheats are not poor and why does it have to be either or? Crack down on both.”

On November 8th, 2011, in a comment on a broadcast of TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne programme, he tweeted: “I’d love it if while Vincent was doing that last interview he got hit over the back of the head with a shovel by some random traveller.#VinB.”

In a tweet directed to @MayorMontague, the Twitter handle of Andrew Montague, who was lord mayor of Dublin from 2011 to 2012, Mr Leddy said: “Something must be done about unsafe atmosphere, don’t like to say it but too many junkies & homeless, very bad for city image.”

In a July 22nd, 2011, tweet he said: “Murdering butchering Islamic terrorists at it again. This time it’s in #Oslo!” Then on July 25th, 2011, he tweeted: “I blamed the Muslims for 2 hours before realising it was right wing terror. It was wrong of me but understandable too#BlametheMuslims.”

Contacted on Monday evening about the tweets, Cllr Leddy said: “I acknowledge that I sent a number of tweets over 10 years ago that were insensitive and inappropriate. I have apologised in the past and am happy to do so again.”

In May 2019 Cllr Leddy, who holds the council seat in Castleknock once held by Mr Varadkar, settled a defamation action he took against Sinn Féin activist Alan Donnelly over social media comments posted on July 12th, 2018.

The High Court heard Mr Donnelly, from Lohunda Downs, Clonsilla, Dublin, agreed to pay Mr Leddy €19,750, inclusive of compensation and the councillor’s legal costs.

As part of the settlement, a statement by Mr Donnelly was read to the court in which he “unreservedly apologised to Mr Leddy” and acknowledged that his comments, published on Facebook on July 12th, 2018, with respect to Mr Leddy and his political activities “were entirely untrue, unwarranted and without foundation”.

Counsel for Cllr Leddy told the court that the defamation arose after his client was pictured at “a cross-border, cross-community event” on July 12th, 2018.