herald

Friday 22 September 2017

Leo vows FG will get tough with anti-Muslim tweets councillor

Leo Varadkar says action will be taken about comments made by Brian Murphy
Leo Varadkar says action will be taken about comments made by Brian Murphy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has moved to distance himself and Fine Gael from controversial views on Islam and refugees posted by one of the party's councillors.

The party has already criticised social media posts by Cllr Brian Murphy - including a claim that Sharia law is operating in Ireland - as "unacceptable".

Mr Varadkar didn't say if Mr Murphy would be expelled from the party, but indicated that Fine Gael's national executive would take action.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown councillor Mr Murphy has posted a number of comments on Twitter in the last week that have come under scrutiny.

"The Irish military should not be being forced to act as a ferry service for smugglers and illegal economic migrants in the Mediterranean," he wrote on September 1.

Another post as part of a series of tweets on September 5 read: "Sharia Law is operating in Ireland and most of the political class either do not know or do not care. It is a subversion of our legal system."

Yesterday, Mr Varadkar said: "I want to disassociate myself and the party from those messages from Cllr Brian Murphy. They do not represent the policies, views or values of the Fine Gael party.

"The party at executive council level will take any necessary action that needs to be taken by them and he'll be informed of that in due course."

It comes after a Fine Gael spokesperson said Mr Murphy's comments "will be dealt with by the Fine Gael party".

Mr Murphy was defiant, telling the Herald that "everything I have said is true".

He added: "Fine Gael is the political party I love and it is the greatest political party.

Jihadis

"But we are a broad church, and I do not want this country creating parallel societies within our society as has happened in Europe.

"Islam does not integrate or assimilate and that should not be a controversial statement.

"The evidence is there in the no-go zones around Europe and the billions and billions that now have to be spent monitoring an ever increasing number of jihadis in every European country."

The Fine Gael spokesperson also said: "Fine Gael want to create a fair and caring society where there are no barriers to equal opportunity.

"The party is committed to playing its role in assisting refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants.

"All people, regardless of class, dogma, ideology, race, religion or creed, should be treated equally and fairly."

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