Controversial rock star Bob Geldof infuriated female delegates at the Global Irish Forum in Dublin Saturday when he told deputy Prime Minister Mary Coughlan that she had lovely legs. 

Coughlan visibly blushed when Geldof made his announcement and there was an audible gasp from  members of the audience.
Geldof "went way over the line," said one female delegate who asked not to be named.

"That was a blatantly sexist remark about a woman who is doing a professional job at the very highest level."

Another woman said she wasn't surprised at the sexist remark given that only 10 percent of the delegates were women. "We've still got a long way to go," she said.

CNN anchor Fionnula Sweeney, who led the panel discussion, looked nonplussed by the remark and asked for another comment even though Geldof was supposed to be the last speaker.

In fairness to Geldof, Coughlan was 20th in a "Lovely Legs List" compiled by the Irish Social and Personal magazine last year.

However, Geldof took the furor in stride.

It's nothing new for Geldof to be upsetting people. Some of the people at the Forum still haven't forgiven him for calling Ireland a "banana republic" in the 1980s.

Speaking to the Irish Independent on Saturday, he said: "I got in yesterday and my sister was waiting for me, and we were sitting at a café at the airport, and there was this guy at the table and he said 'Is it still a banana republic, Bob?' and I said, 'Jaysus, more than ever."