A newly elected Cork TD has apologised for comments unearthed in tweets from 2012 and 2013.
The Social Democrats’ Holly Cairns said in a tweet posted on December 3, 2012: “The pope is gonna get so cyber bullied, can’t wait. #pope #vatican”.
On March 13, 2013 - the day the pope was elected - she tweeted: “For every minute of air time taken up on the papal conclave I’m gonna get an abortion #pope”.
She sent a number of other tweets that have come to light this week referencing aspects of the Catholic Church over 2012 and 2013, linking to articles, including one from TheJournal.ie which referenced the Pope’s former butler taking the stand in a leaks trial. “The pope feels abused...How awful!” she tweeted alongside a link to the article.
Deputy Cairns, who was 22 when she sent the tweets, has issued an apology for her comments.
“I apologise for the offence caused. The comments were made a long time ago, when I was a lot younger and the wording was inappropriate,” she told The Echo.
“The comments were made 8 years ago in the context of the Ireland we lived in then, where things like equal marriage and repeal were a long way off.
“I phrased things badly and apologise that my choice of words caused offence for some people.” Ms Cairns has been the subject of media interest since her declaration to run for the Dáil. In 2019 she was elected to Cork County Council by one vote, following a four-day recount.
This year she ran for a seat in Leinster House but also drew much attention as she was running in the same constituency as her boyfriend Fianna Fáil’s Christopher O’Sullivan, who also won a seat in Cork South West.