Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe’s newly appointed special adviser has been described as “slime” by a constituency rival in a bitter online spat.

Ed Brophy, who has taken up his post with Mr Donohoe in recent weeks, engaged in a Twitter row in recent days with Social Democrats representative Gary Gannon, who narrowly missed out on a seat in Dublin Central at the 2016 general election. Mr Donohoe has represented the constituency since 2011.

The row began when Mr Gannon criticised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for highlighting recent achievements in office on his own Twitter account. This prompted Mr Brophy to tweet: “Of course, Twitter would literally break if @1GaryGannon listed his achievements this week.”

Mr Gannon lashed out and said: “Oh jaysus.. Ed Brophy .. The man who literally destroyed the @labour Party” — a reference to Mr Brophy’s previous €144,500-a-year job as chief of staff to then tánaiste Joan Burton.

The spat escalated when Mr Brophy replied: “Good man Gary, the @SocDems hegemony is just around the corner. After all, you were the future once” — a criticism of Mr Gannon’s failure to become a TD in 2016.

This, in turn, drew the sharpest comment in the exchange from Mr Gannon: “In fairness Ed, I’d much rather be potential unfulfilled, than to be the realisation of the fears of all those who ever trusted me. You’re slime Ed - and that’s all you’ll ever be remembered for.”

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Gannon accepted the language used in the exchange was probably sharper and stronger than he would normally use. He said he and Mr Brophy have “previous” and that he is not a fan of Mr Brophy.

When contacted, Mr Brophy said he had no comment to make on the matter. However, online, he did say: “‘You’re slime’ & ‘Horrible excuse for a human’. The inevitability that exchanges with @SocDems will descend into nasty, personalised abuse. Something that the leadership either condones or is in complete denial about.”

A spokeswoman for the Social Democrats told the Irish Examiner the party does not condone the use of such language.

Mr Gannon was narrowly defeated by Maureen O’Sullivan to the last of three seats in Dublin Central. It is a four-seat constituency for the next election.

‘All you’ll ever be remembered for’

The twitter spat between Gary Gannon of the Social Democrats Dublin Central and Ed Brophy, special advisor to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, who is also a Dublin Central TD for Fine Gael

@edbrophy: “Of course, Twitter would literally break if @1GaryGannon listed his achievements this week”

@1GaryGannon: “Oh jaysus.. Ed Brophy.. The man who literally destroyed the @labour Party”

@edbrophy: “Good man Gary, the @SocDems hegemony is just around the corner. After all, you were the future once”

@1GaryGannon: “In fairness Ed, I’d much rather be potential unfulfilled, than to be the realisation of the fears of all those who ever trusted me. You’re slime Ed- and that’s all you’ll ever be remembered for.”

@edbrophy: “‘You’re slime’ & ‘Horrible excuse for a human’. The inevitability that exchanges with @SocDems will descend into nasty, personalised abuse. Something that the leadership either condones or is in complete denial about.”


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