'I didn't suggest people in Donegal were lazy,' says Pat Kenny as row rumbles on with Sinn Fein
NEWSTALK presenter Pat Kenny has said he won't say sorry to Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty despite a county council motion condemning him.
The Sinn Fein finance spokesman took offence during a debate with Kenny over unemployment in Co Donegal. Deputy Doherty told the station that there was little employment in the north west, even during the Celtic Tiger.
Mr Kenny responded, however, that there was full employment at the time and people in other countries were prepared to travel to work. Donegal County Council has passed a motion demanding an apology from Mr Kenny.
However, the presenter insisted last night that he won't be saying sorry.
"I have nothing to apologise for. I was just stating the fact that many, many people from Donegal did travel to work during the boom," he said.
"In other countries people will travel huge distances to find work. In America people will travel a thousand miles to get work.
"I think Pearse Doherty just got the wrong end of the stick and got into a bit of a muddle on this," he added.
"There was no suggestion whatsoever that people in Donegal were lazy. There were plenty of jobs back then and people did travel from all over Ireland to Dublin and many of them were from Donegal."
Deputy Doherty responded last night: "Pat Kenny fails to understand Donegal didn't benefit from the boom. He did offend many with his comments. It was a typical Dublin 4 attitude to rural Ireland that people should travel for work.
"There are thousands of families who have had to move to get work during both the so-called Celtic Tiger and during the recession.
"My argument was that there was no investment in rural Ireland."
Sinn Fein councillor Noel Jordan tabled a motion at a meeting of Donegal County Council to demand an apology,accusing the presenter of branding people from the county as 'lazy'.
Councillor Gerry McMonagle, seconding the motion, said that "hurt" had been caused by Mr Kenny's "silly remarks".