FORMER President Mary McAleese needs to “get off the stage” and stop “lecturing” the Church, an Independent TD has claimed.
Mattie McGrath, who will meet Pope Francis in The Vatican today, has claimed Mrs McAleese is “hogging the airwaves” with anti-church statements.
He suggested that she used her religion to gain votes when running for Áras an Uachtaráin and has now crossed a line.
“If she wants to set up her own Church then do. But just go away and let the people who want to enjoy the Pope, enjoy him.
“She was damn glad of the support of the Irish people, as she calls them now ‘bog standard Catholics’, when she wanted to get elected. She used them.
“If she wants to form her own Church, let her go do so. Get off the stage,” the Tipperary TD said on Newstalk today.
Mrs McAleese has made a series of critical statements about the church’s treatment of gay people in recent weeks and described the World Meeting of Families as a “right wing rally”.
She also presented a documentary on RTÉ television last night which examined the make-up of modern Irish families.
Mr McGrath said it would “do no harm if she was banned from RTÉ”.
“She used the Catholic Church to get where she is. She benefited from it. She’s need to examine her own situation. People are getting sick and tired of her,” he said.
Challenged by presenter Jonathan Healy as to whether Mrs McAleese had a point in some of her statements, the TD replied: “Of course she has a point. We all have to deal with that.”
But he added: “It’s relentless. It’s day in and day out. She’s pontificating and using her position. She’s no longer president. She had a good innings as president. It’s bordering on ridiculous.”
Mr McGrath is a member of the International Catholic Legislators Network which is meeting with the Pope ahead of his visit to Ireland on Saturday.