Wallace says sorry for 'Miss Piggy' remark

 

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace has apologised after he was heard calling a fellow deputy “Miss Piggy” in a conversation in the Dáil chamber that was captured on microphone.

Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell-O’Connor, about whom the remark was made, said she had tears in her eyes when she first heard the comment but said the matter was now closed.

Mr Wallace, who was recorded chatting with fellow Independents Luke “Ming” Flanagan and Shane Ross on Tuesday night, did not realise the microphones were live when he said: “Miss Piggy has toned it down a bit today.”

This was a reference to Ms Mitchell-O’Connor, whose colourful outfits and blonde hair are often remarked on around Leinster House, as are Mr Wallace’s.

“It’s hard to defend the indefensible. I’m very sorry for the offence caused to Mary. I’m completely out of order. Ming and Shane Ross had nothing to do with it. It was completely my fault,” he said.

The Wexford deputy said the reference to Miss Piggy was because the character on the Muppet Show carried a handbag.

Ms Mitchell-O’Connor said she would not be pressing for disciplinary action to be taken against Mr Wallace. “It is over as far as I’m concerned,” she said.

She said there was an “old boys’ club” in the Dáil. “I would think that any woman thinking that she might go for politics would be turned off today when they hear this kind of chat and banter.”

Mr Flanagan said he had nothing to apologise for. Mr Ross, who simply asked “Who’s that?” when Mr Wallace referred to “Miss Piggy”, said he intended to say sorry for anything he had done to offend Ms Mitchell-O’Connor.