The Cavan-Monaghan Renua candidate withdraws candidacy due to ‘hurtful’ gay comments
The Renua candidate is the 4th party representative to withdraw her candidacy ahead of the general election.
Mary Smyth stepped down after making comments party leader Lucinda Creighton believed “would be seen as deeply hurtful by members of the gay community”.
The Cavan-Monaghan candidate wrote a series of posts on an anti-abortion Facebook group that were later brought to Ms Creighton’s attention by party personnel.
According to Renua’s spokesman, the posts included a reference to the Vatican being “riddled with gay sex”.
Her comments followed Pope Francis’s decision to let St Peter’s Basilica be used for a light show during the Paris climate change talks.
“The parting of the ways was probably the best option all round,” a spokesman for Renua said.
“On discovering the views, and prior to any media enquiries, the leader wrote to Mary Smyth requesting one, were these views her actual views and two, expressing great concern, in particular about references to gays, that such references should be extremely hurtful,” he added.
Smyth says on her candidate Facebook page, that she had decided to run because she was “tired of the lies, betrayals and false promises” of the current government.
She describes herself as “pro-family, pro-life and pro-community”.
Other candidates to withdraw included Jonathan Irwin, founder of the Jack and Jill Foundation who was due to run in Kildare South but decided to withdraw on doctor’s advice.
James Charity, who was selected in Galway West, left Renua after two months and returned to being an Independent councillor.
Shane Dunphy, a childcare expert, was due to contest in Wexford but decided not to run.
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