A piece in today’s Times:
A general election candidate was heckled by a room full of mostly female teachers after claiming “man is above woman” and that feminism had destroyed society.
Niall Fitzgerald, an independent candidate, was addressing an election hustings on education in a north Dublin school organised by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. The event was attended by a number of candidates in the Dublin North West constituency, who appealed for the teachers’ votes at tomorrow’s election.
A number of people who attended the hustings on Tuesday evening told The Times that Mr Fitzgerald, 39, introduced himself as a Christian independent before describing the new Relationships and Sexuality Education [RSE] programme in schools as “sick and perverse” because of the “transgender and LGBT stuff”. He said “the devil was at work” in the school system and that “feminism” was destroying Irish society.
Mr Fitzgerald was booed and jeered by the crowd, which was 70 to 80 per cent female, before the event moderator stepped in and took the microphone off him to a round of applause.
Mr Fitzgerald confirmed yesterday that he had made the comments but said he had not been given a fair hearing. He said he was quoting the Bible when he said “man is above woman”.
Christ is the head of every man, and man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ,” he said, before adding “but not in a domineering way like the Muslims.”
He said people had become ignorant of scripture. “Feminism is a big evil, contraception, abortion and women now wanting to be like men and not looking after their little babies. I worked in childcare and I saw the raw end of it,” he said. [J4MB emphasis]
He added: “We haven’t had the courage to stand up. The women have had to play that role because we [men] haven’t been men”
Mr Fitzgerald, who is from Dublin and is running in an election for the first time, said he has a PhD in physics and has worked in childcare.
“I made these comments in a Catholic school and they wouldn’t let me finish — it’s Christian persecution,” he said.
He added: “I mentioned the new curriculum for primary schools covers sex education and I used the words ‘sick and perverse’ about the LGBT element. I stand over that — it is sick and perverse. But there’s no hate behind it, they’ll twist it and say it’s hate speech. Maybe I could have just said that its sinful and not right, which is what God says.”
Mr Fitzgerald said he had attended Pride events to “reach out” to the gay community and insisted he was “not hateful towards these people”.
He criticised the LGBT and feminism “ideologies” which he said were not grounded in the truth and therefore came from the Devil.
Mr Fitzgerald said he had distributed 25,000 brochures. When asked if he was getting a good reception on the doorsteps, he said: “Some of the reaction has been bad, because when I talk about feminism people misunderstand. When I say man is above woman they look at that as domineering, they don’t understand.”
He added: “When I speak about LGBT issues, they see it as me hating or excluding them but that’s not the truth at all.”
Asked how he expected to do in the election, he said: “I don’t go there with speculation. It’s a privilege and I put my heart and soul into it.”
The other candidates running in the three-seater constituency are: Caroline Conroy, Green Party; Ian Croft, independent; Dessie Ellis, Sinn Féin; Paul McAuliffe, Fianna Fáil; Andrew Montague, Labour; Conor Reddy, People Before Profit; Stephen Redmond, National Party; Noel Rock, Fine Gael; and Roisin Shortall, Social Democrats.
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