Taoiseach apologises after insulting priests

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has apologised following criticism over comments he made in the Dáil Wednesday when he stereotyped priests as hypocrites.

Mr Varadkar referred to “parish priests who preach from the altar telling us how to avoid sin while secretly going behind the altar and engaging in any amount of sin himself.”

Senator Ronan Mullen said in the Seanad that it was “not acceptable, at this moment in our history when clergy are fewer and older but continue to do good work, to make a mocking, stigmatising remark like that, whether for its own sake or in order to attack a political opponent.”

If somebody made a “similarly stigmatising throwaway remark about gay community leaders or spokespersons for the travelling community, they would be rightly criticised,” he said.

“I hope the Taoiseach will reflect on his remarks and come back with something more generous,” he concluded.

Mr Varadkar apologised yesterday saying: “I have offended a lot of people who I never intended to offend. I am sorry for that, I do apologise.”