Meanwhile In Galway [Updated]




This morning.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was canvassing in Galway city when he was asked about comments made by Senator Catherine Noone in which she described him as “autistic”.

During a media scrum Mr Varadkar said:

“…but you know, it’s not about me. I just think that we all need to be very aware and very respectful of people who have autism and people who are on the autism spectrum and we need to understand that those terms should never be used in a pejorative way at all.

“And this is a Government that has prioritised autism, you know, we have more ASD units than ever before, more special needs assistants than ever before, more special classes than ever before and also we provided €2million this year for an autism awareness campaign, to educate the public better about understanding what autism and autism spectrum is.

“And we know that isn’t enough…but it is, it’s a good start and we’re going to build on it.”

Asked if Ms Noone should be sanctioned by Fine Gael, he said:

“No, like I say, she’s withdrawn her remarks in full and she’s apologised to those people she’s offended and that’s good for me.”

When it was put to him that Sinn Féin councillor Paddy Holohan had been suspended, over comments he made, and that “surely a suspension is warranted”, Mr Varadkar repeated that Ms Noone had apologised, withdrawn her remarks and that that was “good enough for me”.

He was asked by one journalist how he felt personally about the comments, while another asked if he is still encouraging people to vote for Senator Noone who is running for a seat in Dublin Bay North.

He said: “I encourage people to vote for all of our Fine Gael candidates. Richard Bruton and Catherine Noone are candidates in that constituency.”

Asked by another journalist if he’ll canvass with Ms Noone, Mr Varadkar shrugged and said: “It’s not on the schedule yet but I’m sure I will at some point.”


Rain Man.

Earlier: Not Literally [Updated}

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20 thoughts on “Meanwhile In Galway [Updated]

        1. Rob_G

          (I actually like Galway) – I just wish that the people who lived there* would stop going on about it like it was Ireland’s answer to Berlin. It’s a handful of streets with some nice pubs, and Macnas.

          *who are not necessarily Galwegians

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      There are pictures online of people sitting in Eyre Square in sunlight and without umbrellas but I have never seen the place dry.

      Love Connemara though – in any weather.

  1. GiggidyGoo

    FG people seem to be very flippant with their descriptions. Noone above, and Varadkar with his bandying about the word ‘Nutter’ (a term used by another of his party) on live TV with a large audience last night. (He really has no excuse, being a doctor)

    1. Droll Individual

      As Michael Healy Rae said this morning wouldn’t it be great if it was a perfect world and we were all perfect people

  2. Treasa

    “Lads, we’re tanking. The electorate think he is a robot, unfeeling, detached and priviliged. How can we get people to develop an ounce of goodwill towards him? How … Bingo! We make them feel sorry for him! He has an affliction! Have one of our own insult his affliction, they take the hit, he is seen as a victim, he gets the sympathy and bada-bing-bada-boom we’re back on track!”

      1. Treasa

        If it negatively affects how successfully someone navigates the world then I would probably say yes. I have a friend whose child is severely autistic, non-verbal, requiring 24-hour care. I would say that is an affliction.

        1. Treasa

          Apologies if that was offensive, perhaps “affliction” is an insensitive word. Disorder is probably better. I didn’t mean to offend anyone and am keen to learn how better to talk about it.

      2. george

        It is autistic not “autist”. Just refer to people the way they prefer to be referred to. There is a particular disrespect that is expressed by choosing obscure or archaic way of the describing someone. Like the way racists always insist on writing “Moslem” just to be dicks.

  3. A Person

    Yeah, but you didn’t mean it that way. Same as all the outrage expressed by the “warriors”. You just used it to score political points. Btw, we all have friends.

    1. Treasa

      You don’t know how I meant it. The bottom line is that I wouldn’t put it past the FG spin machine to manufacture the entire episode. I didn’t mean to be offensive to anyone but FG. And sure, I take it onboard that perhaps it wasn’t the time to score political points.

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