Embarrassed Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has been forced to apologize after telling a joke about sex with the Queen to a group of influential British politicians.
O’Leary had to say sorry after cracking the joke at a high level meeting between British and Irish political leaders in Dublin.
He made the controversial remark as he opened the latest meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly.
The Irish Sun newspaper reports that O’Leary, after remarking how privileged he was to open the meeting, quipped: “It reminds me much of making love to the Queen of England. You know it is a great honour, you’re just not sure how much pleasure it’s going to be!”
British politician Andrew Rosindell took exception to the joke and tackled O’Leary at the end of his 15 minute speech.Conservative deputy Rosindell told the Ryanair CEO: “It’s a pity, however, about the opening remarks regarding the Queen. I think that was inappropriate and maybe you would like to consider withdrawing those remarks.”
The paper reports that a chastened O’Leary admitted he got the mood of the gathering wrong.O’Leary responded: “Yes, I happily apologise for my opening remarks. It’s always hard to judge the room. It normally is a joke that works quite well and I thought it might work well here. I didn’t mean to convey any discourtesy and I apologise if I did.”
Rosindell told the Irish Sun he was glad the controversial businessman said sorry but regretted the timing of the jibe ahead of President Michael D Higgins’ State trip to the UK.He said: “I was very pleased he withdrew the remarks and clearly he realised the mistake he made very quickly.“So I thank him for withdrawing the remarks but to make those comments was inappropriate.
Hopefully he’ll learn the lesson that to make comments about the Queen in that way, or of any head of state, in a disrespectful manner is unacceptable...“Of course, Mr Higgins is coming next week I believe and I’m looking forward to greeting him when he comes to the House of Commons.“To make a remark so close to that state visit was most unfortunate, but I’m glad he withdrew it.”Rosindell remarked that the joke was all the more regrettable ‘especially at a conference like this where British and Irish parliamentarians are making stronger friendships’.
He added: “He’s clearly been a greatly successful businessman, but to be successful in business I think you also need to have consideration for the people you are serving.“It’s not just about trying to make the biggest profit.
They’re a little bit arrogant when dealing with customers and I had a problem myself.“If I’ve a problem anyone else can have a problem, so I do think they need to work on customer relations a bit better.”