Leo Varadkar apologises to Sinn Féin's Violet-Anne Wynne for offence caused by 'no Protestant TDs' claim
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has apologised to Sinn Féin's Violet-Anne Wynne after speculating about the religious affiliation of political representatives and making 'no Protestant TDs, MLAs or Senators' claim.
He brought up the perceived religious affiliation of elected politicians during an interview on the RTÉ News at One on Wednesday.
The former Taoiseach made the remarks after saying Sinn Féin were an obstacle to the reunification of Ireland.
"They have a relationship with unionism that is one of mutual hostility, which is a big problem, and they are sectarian. They are still very anti-British, they have no Protestant TDs, MLAs or senators," he claimed.
Sinn Féin T.D. for Claire, Violet-Anne Wynne, who happens to be Protestant, said she was hurt by the remarks which she described as political point scoring.
"Leo Varadkar's constant attempts to score political points by spouting untruths and trying to demonise political opponents is getting tiresome.
"While nobody in Sinn Féin has ever made an issue of my religious views, it is not acceptable for the Tánaiste to do so.
"On national radio today, he said there are no Protestant TDs in our party. That is a lie.
"I am a Protestant and I am proud to be a Sinn Féin TD.
"The Tánaiste should immediately withdraw and apologise for his hurtful remarks," she said.
In response the Fine Gael leader said: "I did not make any remarks, at all, about Deputy Wynne personally. I was unaware of her religious affiliation and I stand corrected. I fully retract my remark and apologise for any offence caused,”