Sinn Fein Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn has leapt to the defence of Fine Gael County Councillor and RTE producer Barry O'Neill after the latter's wife appeared to give a Nazi salute in a Facebook photo.
Speaking to Highland Radio's Shaun Doherty Show, Deputy MacLochlainn stated: "I think in my view, it's intended to be a bit of fun. It's very clumsy and he's apologised for any offence caused so I think it's one of those unfortunate... we all make mistakes."
The photo in question, featured above, had been displayed on the Councillor's Facebook page and showed his wife Lorraine McCabe, whom he married on December 30, giving a Nazi salute behind fascist leader Benito Mussolini, while giving a bunny-ears gesture to an Adolf Hitler waxwork with her other hand. The image has since been removed from Councillor O'Neill's Facebook page.
A defender of Councillor O'Neill's has since commented on the Donegaldaily.com original story by writing that the incident's fallout "will put a major damper on there [sic] honeymoon, he made a apology so I think it should be left at that".
However, many Facebook users did not see the funny side of the photo, with the Irish Independent reporting that a Facebook user of Jewish ancestry stated underneath the image: "I plan to make a complaint to Fine Gael about this. Doesn't Cllr O'Neill know that gesture symbolises the mass murders of the holocaust."