Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called on Barry Walsh to resign from Fine Gael’s national executive council pending inquiries into abusive tweets he posted, writes Daniel McConnell.
Speaking at the Gothenburg Social Summit on Friday, Mr Varadkar said: “Mr Walsh’s conduct is below the standards of what I’d expect from a Fine Gael officer.”
Mr Walsh was the subject of stinging criticism from TD Kate O’Connell at a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday.
He is to face an internal disciplinary inquiry over tweets in which female politicians and pro-choice campaigners were described in derogatory terms, including “bitch”.
But the call from the Taoiseach for him to resign means his departure from his position is inevitable.
Details of Ms O’Connell’s complaints, obtained by the Irish Examiner, say Mr Walsh engaged online in “nasty” and “downright abusive” behaviour.
Ms O’Connell says several members of the parliamentary party have been subject to abuse from him, including her and Social Affairs Minister Regina Doherty.
It is understood that actor and comedian Tara Flynn has also made a complaint to Fine Gael.
A tweet that has caused anger was one Mr Walsh posted about the actor, who had an abortion.
He wrote: “From what Tara Flynn says, she was pregnant and just couldn’t be bothered having a baby. So she had it killed. Why is she a feminist hero?”
I'm going to take myself off here for a bit, but first let me remind some people that I'm an actor, not a politician. I'm not in any group or party at all. But I'm very glad that misogyny and abuse have been called out and acted upon. Mind yourselves.— Tara Flynn (@TaraFlynn) November 16, 2017
In other tweets, he called women “bitches” and “stupid”.
The issue was raised this week by Ms O’Connell at Fine Gael’s weekly meeting in Leinster House, where a five-page dossier of the offensive tweets was distributed to members.