Dail censures Deputy McGrath for abuse victim comments

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has come under fire from Dail colleagues after making comments about a former Clonmel mayor and abuse victim.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has come under fire from Dail colleagues after making comments about a former Clonmel mayor and abuse victim.

After being censured by the Dail Deputy Mattie McGrath this week refused to issue an apology to sexual abuse spokesperson Michael O’Brien, a former Fianna Fail mayor of Clonmel and former resident of Ferryhouse and said he had no regrets about the comments he made in Dail Eireann last year.

Last year in the Dail Deputy McGrath complained that Michael O’Brien had held a function as mayor to honour the Rosminians, even though this was not true.

Deputy McGrath critiscised Mr.O Brien in the Dail accusing himn of having in the past hosted a civic reception as mayor for the Rosminiaan Order.

“It is bizarre that he has made a complete turnaround and is now attacking the same people to whom ,he,when mayor of Clonmel, gave a civi c reception on behalf of the town,” he said withbout mentioning Mr. O Brien by name in the Dail .

Those comments led to Mr O Brien writing a letter to Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett asking for the remarks to be withdrawn.

Mr O Brien also sent documentaton showing that he had once hosted a mayoral reception for a single member of the Rosminian Order at the request of two other councillors back in 1993-94 but had never hosted a civic reception for the order in general as Mr.McGrath had alleged.

The Dail’s committee on Procedures and Privileges had repeatedly asked Deputy McGrath to withdraw his remarks about Mr. O ‘Brien but Mr.McGrath insisted that he meant what he said and that he would not withdraw it.

“I respect the way things work in the House but this is a step too far as far as I’m concerned.

“It’s just a kangaroo court, with no discussion of it” said Deputy McGrath,

Michael O’Brien told The Nationalist that he wanted an apology from Deputy McGrath and was very disappointed that one was not forthcoming.

Michael O’Brien said he gave a mayoral reception for a Brother O’Connor because two councillors, both now deceased, had asked him to mark the brother’s fifty years service to the Rosminians.

“Of course I was friendly with the Rosminians, only two of them ever did anything to me, the rest of them did nothing to me.

I did Santa down there, I took boys out on weekends with my own family.

“When that reception was given to Bro O’Connor there was not one word about abuse at that time,” said Michael O.Brien.