Sinn Féin councillor apologises for remark on Helen McEntee
Seamus Morris had used Facebook to accuse new TD of cynicism in wake of father’s suicide
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has criticised comments regarding Helen McEntee’s taking of her late father’s Dáil seat. “I think that remark was entirely inappropriate,” he said. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
A Sinn Féin councillor has apologised for accusing a newly elected TD of a cynical approach to politics in the wake of her father’s suicide.
Helen McEntee was voted into her late father Shane’s seat in the Meath East byelection three months after the junior minister was found dead in the family home.
Seamus Morris, a Sinn Féin representative in Tipperary North, used a Facebook page to remark on her victory saying: “Isn’t it amazing that the McEntee family can put their grief to one side to keep their snouts in the trough?”
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams criticised the comments. “I think that remark was entirely inappropriate,” he said.
“I welcome that [apology from Mr Morris]. I know the McEntee family and I met Helen and her mother, and indeed her granny, on the day of the count.”
Mr Morris had said it was a cynical move for Fine Gael to run Ms McEntee in the byelection for the seat left empty by her late father.
“In relation to my statements regarding Helen McEntee I realise that my comments were crass, inappropriate and lacking in compassion.
“I wish to apologise for those comments and would like to withdraw my remarks,” he said.
Ms McEntee (26), had worked as a parliamentary assistant for her late father and went on to top the poll in Meath East byelection.