Paddy Holohan says his controversial remarks about Leo Varadkar were 'misinterpreted'
Holohan issued the statement after Sinn Féin called on him to apologise.
Sinn Féin councillor Paddy Holohan has said that his recent comments about Leo Varadkar were "misinterpreted."
The MMA fighter-turned-local politician had been criticised for recent comments he made about the Taoiseach when discussing Varadkar's credentials as leader of the government.
Speaking on an episode of his No Shame podcast, Holohan said: "We need people running the country — and not against Leo — but to me, I want a family man running the country.
"Someone that knows what it’s like to have kids, maybe hopefully boys and girls, so when you’re creating the policies and stuff that’s going to go on, that you’re like right, it makes sense."
In a previous episode featuring director Terry McMahon, Holohan also made remarks about Varadkar's Indian heritage, saying: "He’s so separated not even from society now but he’s so separated from the history of this country.
"Leo Varadkar’s blood obviously runs to India. His great-grandfather is not part of the history of this country. Now Leo obviously is. He’s an Irish citizen but his passion doesn’t go back to the times when our passion goes back to."
Earlier today, a spokesperson for Sinn Féin told JOE that they wanted Holohan to apologise for these remarks.
"Paddy Holohan has made comments on his podcast that have caused offence, and are quite obviously not the views of Sinn Féin. He should apologise and withdraw these remarks," said the spokesperson.
Holohan has since released the following statement via Twitter.
"Firstly, I would like to apologise as my comments may have offended people as I of course did not intend to do so. My comments have been misinterpreted and not in anyway meant the way they have been portrayed. Thank you to the people that know me and have supported me. And understand that I would never make such remarks," he wrote.
— Paddy Holohan (@PaddyHolohanMMA) January 16, 2020