Arlene Foster has been slammed for comments she made about Sinn Fein’s northern leader, Michelle O’Neill, in a Sunday Independent article published today.
When asked what word she would associate with Mrs O’Neill, Arlene Foster answered, “Blonde!”
Here is the excerpt in full from the paper, beginning with the journalist (Niamh Horan) asking what Arlene thought of Michelle O’Neill:
She pauses for a moment, then laughs. A bold look on her face.
“I don’t want to be sexist and I am not going to be sexist because I can’t………
“Ah go on,” I say, “it’s not sexist if it’s true.”
She smiles: “Blonde!”
I ask her to expand.
“Michelle is very attractive. She presents herself very well and she always is, you know, her appearance is always very ‘the same’. You never see her without her make-up. You never see her without her hair (looking) perfect.”
It is worth recalling that Arlene Foster claimed to be a victim of misogyny when being criticised over her handling of the RHI scandal.
Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion condemned Foster’s comments.
“The sexist and disparaging remarks made by Arlene Foster in relation to Michelle O’Neill are nothing short of disgraceful, ” said Ms McCallion.
“It is totally unacceptable in the 21st Century for a political leader to characterise another political leader based on the colour of their hair.
“The irony of talking about sexism and misogyny appears to be totally lost on Arlene Foster when she makes such remarks about others.
“For Arlene Foster to talk in such a disparaging manner about someone she supposedly wants to share power with once again highlights the DUP’s lack of acceptance of the principles of equality, integrity and respect.
“Arlene Foster and the DUP need to immediately withdraw these offensive remarks which do a disservice to women in politics and to equality and respect.”