Sinn Féin suspends councillor over ‘beyond offensive’ comments

Former cage fighter Paddy Holohan slated over incendiary remarks about ‘women’

Sinn Féin councillor and former MMA fighter Paddy Holohan has been suspended from the party with immediate effect, following comments on his podcast in which he said there were "some f***ing scum women out there".

The Tallaght South representative said on No Shame, in which he was interviewing film-maker Terry McMahon, that he had heard of "loads of" under-age girls pursuing men and later blackmailing them for money.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the comments were “beyond offensive”.

The latest controversy came just a day after the member of South Dublin County Council apologised over remarks he made on a podcast about how a "family man" should run the country, and for questioning Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's links to Ireland because of his Indian heritage.


The remarks prompted Sinn Féin to suspend him. Mr Holohan said on the podcast with Mr McMahon that he would be “slated” if he offered male-only fitness classes and would be accused of hating women.

Mr McMahon said he could understand why some women would want femaleonly classes “because they’re afraid or because they may have been attacked”.

“This is the problem. There are some f***ing scum men out there, real scum, and they need to be literally stopped,” said Mr McMahon.

In response, the councillor said: “Now, saying that, I just want to stop you on that. There is some f***ing scum women out there as well. And I just want to say to you, there’s a situation I heard during the week where somebody was under age, the [other] person didn’t know they were under age.

‘Loads of them’

“The girl pursued the guy, got whatever she needed, had pictures, had videos, and then said, ‘I want 10 grand’. And . . . that wasn’t the first person, there was loads of them. What is that kind of situation that’s going on in society now? I have two sons. It petrifies me . . . that somebody could turn around and say, ‘I’m literally just going to say that you attacked me if you don’t give me 10 grand’.

“And people will go, ‘no that doesn’t happen’ . . . I’m putting my hand on my heart and telling you it does happen; and it is happening out there. So, what happens there?”

Asked about Mr Holohan’s latest comments, Ms McDonald replied that they were “beyond offensive . . . I actually find them upsetting. I’m very, very shocked at the comments made and the party’s disciplinary procedure is now activated as we speak.”

Sinn Féin on Friday said the councillor had been suspended with immediate effect and a disciplinary process had been initiated.

Mr Holohan, who topped the poll in Tallaght South for the party in last May’s local elections, tweeted an apology on Thursday over his comments about the Taoiseach which “may have offended people”. He claimed they had been misinterpreted. Sinn Féin had told him he should say sorry and Ms McDonald said subsequently he had done the correct thing by apologising.

Mr Varadkar said on Thursday evening he accepted the apology.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times