herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Twitter sexuality gaffe was a 'Freudian slip', says Renua candidate

Shane Dunphy
Shane Dunphy

RENUA Ireland candidate Shane Dunphy has said his description of sexuality as a "lifestyle choice" was a "Freudian slip".

The father-of-two apologised after making the comment on Twitter - but admitted last night that the website "befuddles" him.

Mr Dunphy (42), who had joined the website just hours beforehand, revealed: "I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing."

The Wexford man tweeted yesterday: "Sexuality would certainly classify as a lifestyle choice." He later deleted the message and apologised.

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Dunphy insisted that he does not believe sexuality is a lifestyle choice.

"I do not believe that. I don't do social networking. I used to have a MySpace page back in the day. I just felt it was taking up far too much of my time, and I haven't had anything to do with social networking in about eight years."

The lecturer said that after he was asked to join the website by other party members, "I was on the damn thing for an hour. I was just dipping in and out, and getting used to using the medium.

"As someone who has been involved in writing, the short nature of the entries was kind of befuddling me. I just wasn't paying attention to what I was doing."

The Wexford man explained that he had joined a conversation about 'matters of conscience' when he sent the tweet.

"This was my first conversation on Twitter. The question that was asked was, 'what is a matter of conscience?' I said initially that it was a matter of life or death, something like abortion or the death penalty.

Horrified

"Somebody asked, 'is sexuality a matter of conscience?' I responded by saying that other matters of conscience could be defined as things like lifestyle.

"I'd been teaching a class about different lifestyle choices earlier in the day. It was a Freudian slip, completely," he added.

"Anybody who's read any of the stuff that I've written, whether it's my books or my journalism, knows I am extremely liberal in my views and absolutely would welcome and embrace people of all races, sexualities and creeds.

"I am absolutely horrified that I've caused such offence to people. I absolutely deserved the kicking that I got online as a result of it."

He said he will be voting 'yes' in May's same-sex marriage referendum.

It was the latest gaffe endured by the new party after Dublin TD Terence Flanagan suffered what leader Lucinda Creighton described as a "panic attack" on RTE radio last week.

hnews@herald.ie

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