LIBERAL BIGOTS and left-wing zealots have been routed by the Fine Gael national executive and former head of Young Fine Gael, Barry Walsh, with the latter being successful in his appeal last month against suspension from the party in November 2017.
Some of the narrow-minded, PC dogmatists in FG and elsewhere had objected to Barry calling various female politicos “bitches” – Mary Lou McDonald, Róisín Shortall and even Nancy Pelosi, to name a few — and abusing others, usually for their pro-choice position. There was particular outrage at his remarks about actor and comedian Tara Flynn — “She was pregnant and just couldn’t be bothered having a baby. So she had it killed,” Barry casually tweeted.
Illiberal female liberals in FG, like minister Regina Doherty (she said that Walsh was a very angry man and had “issues”) and Kate O’Connell TD, reacted angrily and created a media furore that led to his suspension from the party.
Poor Barry became a victim of the intolerant harpies that proliferate in the body politic these days and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, previously an admirer of Barry’s, described Walsh’s comments as “unacceptable”.
However, the party’s executive does not see it that way (standards still prevail in some quarters), voting last month by six votes to four to uphold Walsh’s appeal against his suspension. There were two abstentions on the executive vote to overturn the suspension – one of them was Senator Jerry Buttimer – but junior minister John Paul Phelan, stood by Barry.
The rather interesting argument offered in his defence was that Walsh did not create a public scandal with his barely noticed tweets over a number of years and that it was those who reacted to his outpourings that created all the fuss.
Some of Barry’s fans have argued that an especially zealous and vindictive feminist compiled a file of his whimsical comments and disseminated it in the party and the media.
Barry has long been an energetic party worker, acting as an advisor to Lucinda Creighton when she was minister for Europe and as director of elections in Dublin Bay North at the 2016 general election. Another interesting aspect to Barry’s political CV is that, at the time of his suspension, he was a member of the party’s national executive whose members – his peers – have now exonerated him.
Deal with it, Regina!