Eamon Ryan apologises for use of "n-word" during Dáil speech 4 weeks ago

Eamon Ryan apologises for use of "n-word" during Dáil speech

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has apologised for his use of the n-word in Dáil Éireann today (11 June).

While discussing racial abuse in Ireland, Ryan said the word while referring to an article printed in the Irish Times, headlined: "I was six when I was first called a n****r in Ireland."

Giving a speech in the Dáil, Ryan said: "In the newspaper today there was a young Irish man, Sean Gallen, giving his experience of being othered. Of being, from the age of six, given that name - you n*****.

"Explaining that sense of how it completely undermines people. And every people, I know friends, relations of colour in this country, and Travellers, and other minorities speak of the same experience. It's real."

Ryan was criticised widely online for his use of the word, which had been censored in the Irish Times.

In a brief statement posted on Twitter, Ryan said: "I made a speech in the Dáil today about the scourge of racism in our society. In quoting from an article I read this morning, I repeated a racial slur, and I was completely wrong to do so. I want to apologise for any hurt caused. I know this particular word should never be used."

Ryan is facing a leadership challenge from the party's deputy leader Catherine Martin, and the Greens are currently locked in government coalition talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.