Irish Mail on Sunday apologises for "unfairly personal" column critiquing politicians outfits 1 month ago

Irish Mail on Sunday apologises for "unfairly personal" column critiquing politicians outfits

Micheál Martin hit out at the newspaper last week, calling it "personal, nasty and unkind".

The Irish Mail on Sunday has apologised for an "unfairly personal" column critiquing the outfits of Fianna Fáil politicians.

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The newspaper withdrew their comments on Sunday, (18 September) adding that the columnist, Niamh Walsh, also apologises to "those named in the item".

Published in last week's edition of the Irish Mail on Sunday (12 September), Niamh Walsh's 'Manifesto' column took sartorial aim at several of the attendees at last week's Fianna Fáil gathering in Cavan.

"Some of the outfits on show at Fianna Fáil's think-in at the Slieve Russell hotel in Cavan have no place in public full stop – never mind politics," Walsh began, adding that "appearance matters if you want to be taken seriously".

From there, Walsh name-checked Niamh Smyth, Erin McGreehan, Fiona O'Loughlin, Minister for Education Norma Foley, Barry Cowen, Willie O'Dea and Darragh O'Brien, pouring various shades of scorn on their respective looks.

"Last week's manifesto included an item critiquing the dress sense of some of the women and men attending the Fianna fail think-in," the newspaper said in the apology on Sunday.

"It is the business of columnists to inform, entertain and offer strong opinions, which sometimes cause offence.

"On this occasion we accept that the item was unfairly personal and caused unnecessary upset."

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It added that the column was "inconsistent" with their commitment to "calling out sexism".

"As evidenced by countless stories and interviews, the Irish Mail on Sunday is committed to calling out sexism and upholding the rights of women in the workplace and elsewhere," the statement added.

"This item was inconsistent with these values."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin strongly criticised the column that mocked the fashion choices of Fianna Fáil party members.

Senator Erin McGreehan also addressed her inclusion, noting her hurt reaction on Twitter on Sunday evening.

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"I don't know what is wrong with another human being that they could be so blatantly horrible to another human being," McGreehan wrote.

"I am very upset by this. I'm not going to pretend words don't matter. They do. Words and actions and attitude are everything and it is how people should be judged."

Offering his support to McGreehan and other affected party members, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin blasted Walsh's column, questioning its nature.

"Why the need for such a personal, nasty and unkind article?" the Taoiseach wrote.

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"An article written in an attempt to demean women who take politics seriously, and work hard to make people's lives better."

Main Image: Julien Behal/RollingNews.ie.