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Mary Lou McDonald criticises Sinn Féin councillors over Paddy Holohan mayor nomination

Former UFC fighter-turned Sinn Féin councillor Paddy Holohan. Picture by Niall Carson
Paul Ainsworth

SINN Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has criticised party councillors for nominating a former MMA fighter to a mayoral position after serving a suspension for "vile" comments.

Paddy Holohan was put forward as mayor of South Dublin County Council last week, in a move the Sinn Féin leadership said it was unaware of.

The former mixed martial artist, who followed fellow Dubliner Conor McGregor in joining the UFC, was widely criticised earlier this year after he questioned Leo Varadkar's connection to Ireland because of his Indian heritage and said he would prefer a "family man" to be taoiseach.

READ MORE: Sinn Féin suspends Paddy Holohan after underage girls remarks

The 32-year-old, who was elected to South Dublin County Council last year, also made comments about women that Ms McDonald described at the time as "beyond offensive".

He was suspended from Sinn Féin for five months but it has emerged he was recently readmitted.

In a social media post on Friday, Mr Holohan said he was "honoured to be nominated in the running for mayor of south Dublin by my Sinn Féin comrades".

Ms McDonald said yesterday she would have "intervened" had she known about the nomination.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald

She told the BBC's Sunday Politics show his previous comments were "absolutely unacceptable and I took immediate action because I and we will not tolerate that".

On the decision of party councillors to nominate him for mayor, she said: "It was most unwise on their part and demonstrated poor judgment."

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