A former MMA fighter has been suspended as a Sinn Fein councillor over “beyond offensive” remarks about underage girls – a day after he was forced to apologise for comments he made about Ireland’s prime minister.
Paddy Holohan – who was known as “The Hooligan” – had claimed on his podcast there were “some f****** scum women out there” and underage girls were having sex with men and then blackmailing them for up to €10,000.
It came after he had previously attracted controversy for saying he would prefer a “family man” to be Ireland’s PM, in an apparent reference to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who is gay.
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said on Friday that the councillor’s latest comments were upsetting and “beyond offensive”, after the party had previously said he should apologise to Mr Varadkar.
Mr Holohan has now been suspended from Sinn Fein with immediate effect, while a disciplinary process begins.
In a discussion about women on his No Shame podcast, Mr Holohan had said: “There is some f****** scum women out there as well.
“And I just want to say to you, there’s a situation that I heard during the week… somebody was underage, the person didn’t know they were underage, the girl pursued the guy.
“Got whatever she needed, had pictures, had videos, and then said ‘I want 10 grand’. “And that was, that wasn’t the first person, there was loads of them.
“What is that kind of situation is that that’s going on in society now? I have two sons.
“It petrifies me, petrifies me that somebody could turn around and say I’m literally just going to say that you attacked me if you don’t give me 10 grand.”
On Thursday, Mr Holohan said he “apologised to anyone who was offended” by remarks he made about Mr Varadkar and claimed his comments had been “misinterpreted”.
In a previous episode of the No Shame podcast, Mr Holohan questioned Mr Varadkar’s connection to Ireland because of his Indian heritage and said he would prefer a “family man” to be taoiseach.
He also said: “Leo Varadkar’s blood obviously runs to India so his great grandfather is not part of the history of this country.”
Mr Varadkar accepted Mr Holohan’s apology on Thursday, and said many people from from a minority background in Ireland have likely experienced racism.
“I think we can never do enough,” the taoiseach said.
“We just need to raise awareness of the issue and make sure that we have a properly united country, whether you are a man or a woman, no matter what background you come from, whether you’re a member of the travelling community or not or who you love.”
Voters will go to the polls in Ireland on 8 February after Mr Varadkar this week called a general election.