Gay mayor is ready to answer public's questions via blog
THE gay Mayor of South Dublin has said he wants to introduce an "open-door policy" on the internet as part of his tenure.
Sinn Fein's Fintan Warfield, who has launched an "ask the mayor stuff" blog on Tumblr, said he will even respond to internet trolls to give people an idea of the abuse some politicians have to put up with.
Personal questions and political questions will be answered on the website, with a particular focus on people who are LGBT.
"In some cases, I might be the only person that someone who is LGBT might know who is gay, and that can be very isolating," he told the Herald.
Mr Warfield (22) said he got the idea because he was aware of young intelligent people who were nevertheless disengaged from the political process.
"I just thought it would be an opportunity for people to ask questions," he said.
"Everyone always says that the office has an open-door policy, so this is bringing that open-door policy online."
Among the issues that he has been asked about on the blog are coming out as gay, a question he said he was not sure how he would deal with at the outset.
"I hadn't really thought about the public versus the private," he said, adding that he decided he would be as transparent as possible in answering questions.
In his response, he said that he regretted coming out to his parents the way he did, just before going on holidays.
The blog is moderated in the sense that the question does not appear until it has been answered, but Mr Warfield said he would even post responses to trolls.
"I might put everything up and just do my best to answer it," he said.
"We've seen some issues with mental health recently, and it might be a chance for the public to see what some politicians have to deal with."
He began posting on the blog on Tuesday, but has not yet had to respond to any abusive questions.