Irish lawmaker pulls female MP onto his lap during abortion debate

By David Edwards
Friday, July 12, 2013 13:05 EDT
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Fine Gael TD Tom Barry sorry for pulling TD Aine Collins onto his lap (ITV)
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An Irish politician has apologized after he was seen pulling a female colleague onto his lap during an abortion debate that ran into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

As the Republic of Ireland’s upper house was debating a landmark bill that for the first time granted abortion rights in the cases where the life of the mother was at risk, Fine Gael TD Tom Barry was caught on parliament video forcing colleague TD Aine Collins to sit on his lap.

“I went to the Dail bar but I wasn’t drinking excessively,” Barry explained, according to the Irish Independent. “There was nothing pre-meditated, it was stupid, it was disrespectful.”

“I spoke to my wife this morning and all she said to me was: ‘You big eejit.’ I feel so embarrassed over this,” he continued. “I feel very upset that it is being described as that [sexist]. I didn’t intend to offend anyone and I can’t offer any excuse other than to put it down to stupidity, naivety and inexperience.”

An ITV report suggested that the Irish parliament’s open bar was apparently closed for the Thursday session because lawmakers were only seen with paper cups of coffee.

Watch this video from ITV, broadcast July 12, 2013.

(h/t: Video Cafe)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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