Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman hits back at 'anonymous far-right Twitter accounts'

Roderic O'Gorman, who is openly gay, said in a statement that he had hoped to focus on his new role but could not let the claims about him stand uncorrected. Picture: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability and Integration Roderic O'Gorman has hit out at "anonymous far-right Twitter accounts" which have called for him to resign his position.

Over the weekend, Mr O'Gorman was subject of a number of tweets and Facebook posts over a picture he had taken with LGBT campaigner Peter Thatchell.

Mr Thatchell had written in a 1997 Guardian article that friends of his had made conscious choices to have sex with adults, adding "it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful".

Mr Thatchell has since said that the letter was edited and that sex with children is "impossible to condone".

Mr O'Gorman, who is openly gay, said in a statement that he had hoped to focus on his new role but could not let the claims about him stand uncorrected, saying the accusations are "rooted in homophobia, stoked by anonymous, far-right Twitter accounts".

These accounts are using manipulation for their own ends, playing upon the genuine, deeply held concern we all have for child protection.

"I met Peter Thatchell once and took a photo. That was the only time I have met him.

"I knew of him as someone who stood up for LGBT people in countries where their rights were threatened.

"I was surprised to read some of the quotes from the 90s, which I had not read before.

"Any of those views would be completely abhorrent to me. I'm glad to see he's clarified and explained that what is being alleged isn't his view."

The Dublin West TD was appointed to cabinet last week and will oversee a large brief of legislation, including the overhaul of the Direct Provision system.

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