16 May 2022

Kildare Senator hits out at 'derogatory' comments made by Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald

Kildare Senator hits out at 'derogatory' comments made by Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald

A Senator from Kildare has criticised Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald over what she called a “derogatory” statement from her regarding public servants.

On Wednesday January 5, Ms McDonald said that the civil service's “constipated” state would be a key challenge for Sinn Féin if they were to be elected into power.

In response, Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath said in a tweet: “(The public service is) far from being 'constipated', thousands of our public and civil servants have proven their value and have gone beyond the call of duty during Covid to look after the rest of us.”

“This is an unnecessary & worrying cheap shot from Mary Lou McDonald,” he added.

Following this, Minister McGrath's party colleague, Senator Fiona O' Loughlin, voiced her support for him.

She explained: “Minister Michael McGrath made the comment, which I agreed with, that many of our our public servants have gone beyond the call of duty during the pandemic, and that Mary Lou was wrong in her derogatory language about them.”

“Our nurses, Doctors, teachers, Guards, soldiers etc are all public servants and have given unstinting service over the last 24 months.”

The Kildare-South politician also recently appeared on a panel with Professor Staines about the return to schools.

Elaborating on her views after the panel appearance, she told the Leinster Leader: “Whilst we are all concerned about Omicron, the situation is very different to last year, with 96 per cent of all adults vaccinated and over 2 million boosted, and the roll out of vaccination for children over 5 is also significant.”

“I can understand the nervousness and anxiety about children going back to school and undoubtedly there will continue to be many challenges ahead, but Minister Foley made extra funding available for either hepa filters or other forms of work to support ventilation for schools who now also have antigen tests available to them.

Speaking about her native county, Senator O' Loughlin said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our school communities in Kildare for their difficult work in managing school openings during the pandemic.

"There is no doubt, and this is borne out by all research that in classroom teaching is by far the best option for students, and we must take a child/student centered approach in these decisions.”

In related news, earlier this week, Senator Fiona O' Loughlin said she welcomed the Housing Minister's newly expanded loan scheme.

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