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#Elections2019: Maria Walsh defends highly-criticised 90s nostalgia video

Maria Walsh

Fine Gael European election candidate Maria Walsh has joked that her Polly Pocket and Tamagotchi toys from the 1990s are "doing quite fine" after being heavily criticised for a nostalgia "90s kid" online video in the final hours of the European elections race.

Ms Walsh was criticised for the social media tactic in the 48 hours before Friday's vote, with satirical website Waterford Whispers News joking her Polly Pocket was subjected to a co-living housing experiment in the 1990s and that her Tamagotchi electronic pet was treated inhumanly.

Other critics pointed to the fact Ms Walsh used the nostalgia video to gain votes at the expense of depth in her policies, which are the purpose of a candidate running for office.

However, speaking to the Irish Examiner at the European elections count centre in Castlebar, Co Mayo, on Sunday evening, the former Rose of Tralee insisted it was all just meant as a joke - and that contrary to speculation her toys are "doing quite fine".

"Listen, I had done so many messages and video messages about my policy and what I'm passionate about, positive mental health, CAP reform, particularly narratives in there for women and young generations in farming along with small businesses in town.

"So I had flooded social feeds and had gone to the doors and done that.

"The 90s feed was just a nod to having fun and showing personality, and you're right, it did showcase some critique. But you know what, I got more messages on social saying I'm definitely going to the polls because I'm anti-this. And at the end of the day if we got people to the polls because they were angered then fine, we did something that was some sort of a job.

"Did I want as much of a backlash as I probably did? No.

"But I thought well Waterford Whispers certainly made me laugh and it was probably one of my funnest articles to ever read about myself. And my Polly Pocket and Tamagotchi are doing quite fine," she said.

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