A series of tweets featuring ableist slurs, strong criticism of gender quotas and positive discrimination – as well as a remark about not wanting a gay president – has been deleted from a Fianna Fáil TD’s Twitter account.
The tweets were published to Cork North Central TD Pádraig O’Sullivan’s Twitter account from 2011 to 2014. Though the tweets were deleted shortly after The Ditch asked Fianna Fáil and O’Sullivan for comment, neither the party nor the TD wished to address their content.
A tweet to the Fianna Fáil spokesperson for special education’s account in December 2011 read: “theres a good advert for the Road Safety Authority. 7 retards in a taxi with no seat belts on #tallafornia #tv3”. Another read: “its actually retarded. Whose dat stupid?Then dis is d same country home to 1 of d biggest economic crises in history #obamasvisit.”
In a May 2011 Twitter debate on gender quotas, a tweet to the Cork North Central TD’s account complained that women had “monopolized” the “presidency”. Meanwhile in September 2011, another tweet referring to the Irish presidential election of that year read: “once we don't have a ‘gay’ of any description I'm Happy :-p.” Former MEP Gay Mitchell and LGBT rights activist Senator David Norris were among the candidates who ran in the 2011 presidential election.
In January 2012, months before legislation to penalise political parties who fail to field enough female election candidates was signed, a tweet to O’Sullivan’s account criticised gender quotas.
“Fuck Gender quotas. Whats next, positive discrimination racially in the workforce #slipperyslope,” it read.
Other tweets to O’Sullivan’s account commented on transgender people.
“Anybody see the irony in a transvestite singing a song called "ding song" in #eurovision ???”, read a May 2011 tweet referring to transgender woman Sharon Cohen, better known as Dana International, who performed the song Ding, Dong for Israel at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
A February 2012 tweet read: “are we going to represent the trans-genders now too. How many cumann places are they worth?? #ArdFheis”.
In May 2012, O’Sullivan’s account again focused on the Eurovision Song Contest with the tweet: “amazing what a bit of flesh can achieve #Romania”. The tweet referred to Romanian Eurovision entrant Mandinga, whose lead singer Elena Ionescu wore a red mini dress during the band’s semi-final performance in Azerbaijan.
During the December 2011 X Factor final, which was won by British band Little Mix, a tweet to O’Sullivan’s account commented on the band’s appearance.
“Im assuming the girl with the flattened face is the same one with the tight gold thing on her legs? #treetrunks #xfactor”, wrote O’Sullivan during the December 2011 X Factor final which was won by British band Little Mix.