Gogarty defends bringing baby to briefing

Paul Gogarty (far left) with 18-month-old daughter Daisy and Green colleagues.

Gaffe-prone Green TD Paul Gogarty has been forced to defend bringing his 18-month-old daughter to a media briefing on Monday at which the junior coalition partner said it was seeking a general election in January.

Deputy Gogarty faced the ire of listeners on RTÉ Radio 1's Liveline programme yesterday, many of whom said the TD had no business bringing his daughter Daisy to the press conference.

The controversial TD insisted he had had no option as the briefing was called at short notice and his regular childminder - the tot's grandmother - was unavailable.

But that explanation cut no ice with several irate callers to Joe Duffy's show who said Daisy's presence was a distraction from the heavyweight political issues at hand.

Presenter Duffy meanwhile questioned why Deputy Gogarty could bring his offspring to work when other workers - including teachers, gardaí and firefighters - could not.

But the politician - who became a YouTube sensation after his foul-mouthed Dáil rant against Labour's Emmet Stagg - was unrepentant.

He insisted that it was preferable for Daisy to remain with her father rather than be handed over to a stranger, and said he had received many texts in support of his actions.

"You might give me four out of 10 for being a politician," he said, "but you can give me 10 out of 10 for being a father."

The Irish Independent this morning quoted Gogarty as saying he was upset by the "rant-fest" which occurred on live radio.

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