A Fianna Fáil candidate has refused to apologise for liking a tweet calling the Sinn Féin president a “c***”.
Thomas Byrne, a candidate for Meath East and the party’s education spokesman, liked a tweet this morning that read: “Talk about making a complete ‘c***’ of yourself @MaryLouMcDonald,” and included the hashtag #IRAexposed.
The tweet was later removed from Mr Byrne’s “like” list.
He was asked a number of times by the PA news agency if he wished to apologise to Ms McDonald, and refused.
“The tweet shouldn’t have been liked in any circumstance and once it was pointed out to me it was removed,” he said.
“That’s all I have to say, it was immediately unliked.”
A Sinn Féin spokesman called on Mr Byrne to apologise, adding that the incident sends the wrong message to women wishing to get involved in politics.
“This tweet is disgusting and misogynistic and it highlights all that is wrong with social media,” he said.
“Deputy Byrne should comment on this matter.
“He should apologise for encouraging such online behaviour and make it clear that tweets such as this are not acceptable.
“Micheál Martin should also make it clear that he does not accept this type of online behaviour from Fianna Fáil election candidates.”