Yesterday, GREEN Party TD Paul Gogarty was attacked by listeners of RTE’s “Liveline” live on air for putting politics before his child.
This followed a press conference held by the Greens on Monday announcing that they were calling for a general election, where Gorarty’s 18-month-old daughter Daisy sat on his knee for 20 minutes when party leader John Gormley made the announcement.
“Liveline” listeners were disgusted with Gorarty, claiming that he was blatantly putting his party before his own daughter.
Mr. Gogarty is famous for his political blunders and this was yet another to catch the attention of the public when the radio programme was inundated with calls on the matter.
The TD rang in to attempt to redeem himself by explaining that he was caught without a babysitter when the conference was called at such short notice.
However, this seemed to outrage callers even further, and they even claimed that Gorgarty’s poor and irresponsible judgment damaged Ireland’s international reputation even further.
He defended his decision, stating that he felt it was safer to keep his daughter with him rather than hand her over to a stranger during the conference. This angered people even further when a working mother explained that she had no other option but to pay a babysitter when she has to work.
Mr. Gogarty explained that the media would have thought that he did not support the party’s decision if he had failed to attend the briefing.
Although the show’s host Joe Duffy noted that firemen, guards, and others can't bring their children to work, the TD defended his action and said that he did not regret his decision.
Paul Gogarty is no stranger to political controversy. His infamous “f**k you" response to Emmet Stagg in parliament last year forced him to apologize for unparliamentary language, while the incident itself because a YouTube hit.
His reputation was further tarnished earlier in the year when Fine Gael's Tom Sheahan inaccurately quoted Mr Gogarty, a father of two, as being '25% gay'.
This was following an interview in “Hot Press” magazine where he described his dress sense in the 1980s as being 25% gay.
Yesterday, Mr Gogarty said that he was disturbed by the comments on “Liveline”. "I was upset by the rant-fest that went on. I don't regret my decision. I got many texts in support of my decision."