Controversial Irish senator David Norris has apologised to a Fine Gael deputy after he said he no longer wanted to listen to her ‘Regina Monologues’ and accused her of ‘talking through her fanny’.

The former Presidential candidate was accused of sexism in the immediate aftermath of his remarks, made in the Irish senate.

His comments came during another heated debate on the future of the Senate, the Irish parliament’s second house.

Norris had told the House: “I object in the strongest possible way to the idea that someone who has spent years in the House should have to listen to the Regina monologue from someone who has not been a wet weekend in the Oireachtas and is talking through her fanny.”

The Regina Monologue remark was a play on the Vagina Monologues drama while the term ‘fanny’ in Ireland refers to a woman’s private parts.

Norris has now apologised to deputy Doherty and accepted that his comments were inappropriate and wrong.

He said: “I regret any offence caused by my remarks in the Seanad (senate) yesterday about Fine Gael TD (deputy) Regina Doherty.

“I am very happy to withdraw the remarks. They were made off the top of my head. I accept that my language was intemperate.”

Norris added: “I was simply furious and incandescent with rage having received a document on Senate reform. I regret that my remarks will be used in the dirty campaign on the Senate abolition as a diversion.”

The Irish Times reports that Fine Gael has confirmed it will make a formal complaint to the Leader of the Seanad over the remarks.

In a statement Doherty said: “I have to admit that I was upset by the personal nature of the remarks that Senator Norris made about me in the Seanad. They were contrived and intentional.” She also described his comments as sexist and inappropriate.