“Obviously the lady has issues" - Mattie McGrath TD criticises Mary McAleese's Catholic Church comments
"If she wants to form her own church then do so."
Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath has launched a scathing attack on former President of Ireland Mary McAleese for repeatedly speaking out against the Catholic Church.
Speaking on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show on Thursday morning, the deputy said that Irish people are “getting sick, weary and tired” of former president Mary McAleese, and claimed that she should “get off the stage”.
The outspoken TD went on to imply that McAleese relied heavily on the Catholic vote during her presidential campaign, and is now spoiling Pope Francis' visit for those who are looking forward to it.
“She was damn glad of the support of the Irish people – as she calls them now ‘bog-standard Catholics’ – when she wanted to get elected," he said on Thursday morning.
“She used them so, she should now, if she wants to form her own church go do so and get off the stage.”
McGrath went on to say that McAleese should steer clear of practising Catholics who are actually interested in the forthcoming Papal visit.
“Obviously the lady has issues and she needs to deal with those issues.
"And if she wants set up her own church too, but just go away and let people who want to enjoy the Pope go and enjoy him."
McAleese – who has an admittedly complicated history with the church – is a practising Roman Catholic who also holds liberal views on both homosexuality and women priests.
The 67-year-old has been vocal in her objection to the church's treatment of abuse victims, hailing this weekend's World Meeting of Families as a "right-wing rally".
She has also recently described the Catholic Church as “one of the last great bastions of misogyny”.
Deputy McGrath went on to describe her recent comments about the church amounted as "relentless diatribe."
“Day-in, day-out she is pontificating and using her position,” he said.
“Other former presidents, other than attending Council of State meetings, have respected the dignity of retiring.”
Deputy McGrath is no stranger to making headlines. The Tipperary TD came to the forefront of the news three months ago when – following a heated debate in Cabinet – Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, cornered McGrath in the Dáil canteen, calling him an "out and out bollocks".
Some two years ago, he also made headlines when he released his own election song entitled Pizzagate.
It features McGrath dancing with a pair of boxing gloves with his election opponent's names on them.