Monaghan people took to the airwaves today to condemn Labour TD Aodhán O'Riordáin after he was revealed to have branded the county as "homophobic" in a secretly recorded conversation about abortion.
Monaghan anger at "homophobic" comments | Northern Sound | 94-98FM | The Spirit of Cavan and MonaghanAn interview with Deputy O Riordain on the subject of abortion, which was secretly recorded by the interviewers without the TD’s knowledge, shows him talking about Co Monaghan in a derogatory fashion.
Deputy O Riordain talks about the difficulty that someone representing a county like Monaghan would have as regards the controversy over abortion.
He mentions the fact that his wife is from the county and says that if you start talking about abortion in Monaghan, or Donegal or Mayo, “you don’t get too far”.
He says the idea of being a good rural TD is going to mass and being a good Catholic, and says that he scratches his head at the some of the “latent homophobia” he has encountered in Monaghan.
His comments have angered many people in the county who have contacted this radio station to express their annoyance today.
Labour have no TD in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency although they do have four councillors there. However, this controversy could damage Labour's standing in rural areas beyond Monaghan and must be a serious concern for their existing rural TDs.
Update: O'Riordáin has apologised to the people of Monaghan for his "ill-judged and poorly phrased" remarks. Labour TD apologies to Monaghan | Northern Sound | 94-98FM | The Spirit of Cavan and Monaghan