I was one of many people who was, to put it mildly, a little surprised at Senator Harte's comments that the woman in question should "go home".
It ignited much attention, and it was very quickly established before 10am that the article was incorrectly translated. Whoops!
The Indo piece sparked much criticism, including from the Polish Embassy. TheJournal.ie sought (and got) a comment from the Polish Ambassador to Ireland criticizing the Indo's article.
The Irish Independent has this morning sought to clarify their article yesterday now saying that the Polish article was "inaccurately translated". and this morning's edition of Morning Ireland included an interview with the Polish Ambassador who criticised the Irish Independent over the remarks. Morning Ireland host Cathal Mac Coille said the critism was soundly based, saying that it wasn't Morning Ireland's "intention to misrepresent what was said or to needlessly offend any Polish people listening".
But people were offended by yesterday's show. Especially with Senator Harte's comments. There were many people on Twitter which found his comments surprising, many of those tweets included his twitter handle, so he could see the comments. Which is what we assume he did, just after 1am last night. His account (right now we're assuming it was him) responded late last night in defence - from about 1am to just before 2am. At least, we think he was defending his comments, or at least trying to.
The tweets, which we have screenshots of, tells one user to "go back up the mountain you came down from", tells another to "get a life", asks another if they've ever had a non-national in their home (we didn't get that either). The last tweet on the account has a go at a users saying "with a face like yours I would nt advertise your pict". Harte calls another a "FF lackey" that "looks like Dunphy". Other tweets by Harte accuse twitter users of being xenophobic and anti-Donegal.
This particular exchange with one user is my personal favourite.....
The tweets have all since been deleted with no comment from the account. We've reached out to Senator Harte via the Labour Press Office asking for a comment on what happened. Harte told the Donegal Daily that he had withdrawn his comments as the translation of the article was wrong. Harte said it was the Irish Independent that approached him for a comment in yesterday's piece.
We spoke to Labour at 9.30am and asked them for a comment, we're still awaiting a reply, once we have that, we'll share it here.
Update at 1.35
Labour has tweeted an apology on behalf of Senator Harte for his remarks on twitter last night.
The comments were made in the heat of the moment and went well beyond an acceptable level of online interaction.
I accept full responsibility for what I said, and fully withdraw my remarks. I unreservedly apologise for any offence they may have caused.