herald

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Gogarty's F-word rant wins pat on back from voters

MOTORMOUTH Green TD Paul Gogarty says he got the opposite of a tongue-lashing from constituents over his "unparliamentarily" outburst.

Mr Gogarty gained 15 seconds of worldwide fame earlier this month after roaring the F-word at Labour's Emmet Stagg.

But despite getting a rap on the knuckles from the powers that be in Lenister House, he says that constituents were shaking his hand in support of his tough stance on the Budget.

The controversial Dublin Mid-west representative has also revealed his New Year's resolution is to lose weight on RTE's Operation Transformation television programme.

"I am also optimistic about shedding a few unwanted pounds, being part of a motley crew of elected reps participating in Operation Transformation on TV and radio," he said, adding: "There's many the wag has pointed out that the Oireachtas is full of deadweights, so we have no excuse for getting rid of the excess baggage."

Mr Gogarty's four-letter attack during a Dail debate on social welfare cuts attracted media attention from the US to Australia, and has been viewed up to 500,000 times on the internet. The TD has described the outburst as a piece of "YouTube history".

"My constituents are positive... Maybe it's the season, but not one constituent gives me a verbal lashing," he wrote in a diary of his final week before the Dail's Christmas recess.

"Several actually shake my hand and say 'fair play to you'. Fair play to them, more like it. It's nice to know that some people recognise that politicians are human beings too."

He added that Green party members have been "overwhelmingly positive".

"It is time we started sticking up for ourselves and our role in government," grassroot members have told him.

Mr Gogarty "reluctantly" turned down an offer to appear on RTE's irreverent Podge and Rodge Show for fear of "becoming a parody".

He decided to bite his tongue "for once" and by not replying to the official censure he received from the Committee on Procedures and Privileges.

kdoyle@herald.ie

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