Senior Fine Gael figure resigns after allegations of repeatedly calling women "bitch" on Twitter
Fine Gael Executive Council member Barry Walsh has heeded the call of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to resign from his role in the party.
Walsh had come under fire after Dublin Bay South TD Kate O'Connell compiled a document of his alleged online behaviour, which featured multiple instances of Walsh referring to women in politics by the slur "bitch."
In 2015, Walsh had tweeted referring to "some stupid Sinn Féin bitch on Claire Byrne." Walsh's tweets were dragged to light last weekend by Irish media figure and Blind Date host Tara Flynn, whom Walsh had attacked on the subject of abortion, writing: "She couldn't be bothered having a baby so she had it killed."
Deputy O'Connell then took the matter to Fine Gael bosses on Wednesday night, directing national attention towards the tweets. On Friday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar called on Walsh to resign from his role within Fine Gael, and later today, Walsh did just that — releasing a statement to explain his decision.
In the statement, Walsh wrote that "I have passionate views on many issues and have always enjoyed robust political debate, however I accept with many of these tweets I took the political jousting a step too far."