Irish TD refuses to withdraw remark saying Ireland has returned 'to Nazi Hitler time'

Irish TD refuses to withdraw remark saying Ireland has returned 'to Nazi Hitler time'

AN IRISH TD has come under fire for suggesting that Ireland was like Germany in 'Nazi Hitler time'.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath was speaking in the Dáil yesterday discussing the planned protests by Taxi drivers, which multiple TDs say was banned by the Gardaí-- something which is disputed by An Garda Síochána.

The TD stated that Taxi drivers had been told they could not protest in their cars to draw attention to how their industry has been "wiped out" by the pandemic, and said "we're living in a totally totalitarian state".

He went on to say that he "didn't like the antics" of Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and he needed to be pulled up, as these actions were "driving people away from supporting the gardaí".

Addressing Taoiseach Micheál Martin, an angry Mr McGrath asked "Are we going back to Nazi Hitler time?"

The comment instantly drew ire from those present, and the Taoiseach called on Mr McGrath to withdraw the "disgraceful and contemptible" remark.

The Independent TD refused to withdraw the comment, saying "that's my opinion".

Mr Martin argued again that the remark should be withdrawn "irrespective of to whom it applies, given the appalling atrocities that Nazis committed and that Hitler committed. We are a far different country than that."

The Rural Independent TD told the Taoiseach to "spare me the lecture" and said again that he would not withdraw the remarks.

An Garda Síochána have insisted they have not banned the planned protest and have no power to do so, but say they had "engaged" with those organising the protest and it was their understanding "that these groups no longer intend to go ahead with their protest".