March 4, 2021

On the back foot: Wicklow TD puts boots in about Tánaiste’s shoes despite online backlash

A Wicklow TD decided to put the boot in adding to a tweet accusing a former Taoiseach of being “out of touch” for trying on a pair shoes.

However, it backfired following a social media backlash leading to the “out of touch” tweet being kicked to touch.

Wicklow’s Sinn Fein TD John Brady decided to follow in the footsteps of party colleague and Waterford TD David Cullinane  who took to Twitter yesterday afternoon expressing his dismay that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was snapped trying on a pair of “fashion shoes” in a store on Dublin’s Grafton Street.

The Tánaiste was snapped as part of the publicity campaign for the Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme, where small businesses can avail of up to €25,000 in assistance to restart their businesses closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy Cullinane took exception to the Tánaiste’s photo op and decided to tweet his  dismay at Deputy Varadkar trying on shoes.

“3 counties in lockdown, many businesses still closed, front line health staff at breaking point & high unemployment levels across the economy.

“And Leo is trying on fashion shoes,” Deputy Cullinane said.

“Yes it is a backdrop to an announcement but these photos scream out of touch,” the Sinn Féin TD concluded.

Deputy Brady then decided to get in on the act with a tweet of his own, which confusingly invited people to join him in a shoe shop trying on shoes.

“Ah lads, how many journalists does it take to photograph Leo Varadkar buying a new pair of Italian fine leather shoes. It really is the silly season.

“Not to be outdone I’ll be in one of Wicklow’s finest shoe shops Bray Footwear on Wednesday if any media want to follow me,” he added.

Unfortunately for Deputy Brady, Deputy Cullinane’s post was not up long before the backlash started with people, including Mayor of Waterford City Damien Geoghegan, dismissing the Waterford TD’s complaints.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic and all @sinnfeinireland and @davidcullinane are worried about is @LeoVaradkar buying a pair of shoes! You couldn’t make it up,” the Fine Gael Mayor said.

Tanaisté Leo Varadkar himself hit back last night with a tweet of his own, saying: “‘Today Government announced details of the €300 million plus restart grant for SMEs to protect jobs and businesses and this is what we get from the “best opposition in the history of the state.”

Others responded to Deputy Cullinane’s tweet by posting pictures of him wearing so called “fashion shoes”, while more reminded him of a recent incident they believe was “out of touch.”

“@davidcullinane,” said one Twitteratti “Tell you what screams ‘out of touch’ David, elected TDs shouting, “Up The RA!” at a public meeting. In 2020. Utter disgrace.”

Deputy Cullinane’s tweet was deleted overnight, however Deputy Brady’s tweet remains.


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