A first-time Sinn Féin TD says he meant no offence to Taoiseach Micheál Martin by saying 'Mary Lou McDonald is my taoiseach'.
Cork North Central TD, Thomas Gould, said that many of those who criticised his post on Twitter read things into it that just aren’t there, and that many who responded to the same post on his Facebook page share his view: “On a personal level, I wish Micheál the best. I didn’t say I didn’t respect him. I said nothing negative."
Mr Gould posted the message on his social media platforms on Saturday night just hours after Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, was elected Taoiseach. It read: “Mary Lou McDonald is my Taoiseach and I believe the people’s choice. It was a disappointing day but we are not down because we know that Sinn Féin is the only party that will fight for ordinary families and working people.”
It was accompanied by photographs of Mr Gould with the Sinn Féin president, Ms McDonald, and the party’s vice president, Michelle O’Neill.
Mary Lou McDonald is my Taoiseach and I believe the people’s choice. It was a disappointing day but we are not down because we know that Sinn Féin is the only party that will fight for ordinary families and working people. @sinnfeinireland @CorkSinnFein pic.twitter.com/GKWe0EWCRa— Thomas Gould TD (@ThomasGouldSF) June 27, 2020
He was slated on Twitter with people accusing him of ‘ungracious’ and ‘childish behaviour’ and of disrespecting the democratic process.
Mr Gould: “Of course I accept the result of the vote but I was just making the point that we were disappointed, we felt we had a good election, people voted for change and this was the complete opposite. Mary Lou is my leader, a lot of people felt Mary Lou should have been Taoiseach. That’s the point I was trying to make."
Ms McDonald backed her TD, telling Neil Prendeville on Cork’s RedFM that she understands what Mr Gould meant: “What he means is that I am the leader of his party. The word 'taoiseach' of course means 'chief'. I am the leader of the party. That’s what Tommy meant, he meant no disrespect to his fellow Corkman."