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'extreme analogy' Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry apologises for saying Ireland should buy Covid vaccine from Ku Klux Klan

He promptly withdrew the comment and said it was an extreme analogy.

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Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry

A Fianna Fáil TD has apologised for saying Ireland should buy anti-Covid vaccine from the Ku Klux Klan if necessary.

Marc MacSharry made a reference at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party yesterday evening to sourcing vaccine if necessary from the Ku Klux Klan, but promptly withdrew it and said it was an extreme analogy.

When contacted by Independent.ie, Mr MacSharry acknowledged he made reference to the KKK, but said the comment had been “withdrawn and clarified” straight away.

“I abhor the very existence of such organisations,” he added.

Others at the meeting confirmed the remark, and that it was withdrawn immediately.

One said: “He should have said we would buy vaccines from the devil himself, which was his point.”

Mr MacSharry made the reference while arguing that Ireland should ditch EU solidarity and opt for the Russian Sputnik vaccine against Covid-19.

The Sligo-Leitrim TD asked: “What’s the attitude to the Sputnik Russian vaccine? Are EU prejudices going to prevent the consideration of it?”

He said Hungary had done a unilateral deal for the supply of the Sputnik vaccine, although doubts have been expressed about its efficacy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his children have taken the Sputnik vaccine and it has also been tried in South America.

“My view is if it works let’s get it. No matter who has a vaccine that works we should be buyers,” Mr MacSharry told the Taoiseach and fellow TDs.

He said the EU had “failed us“ on the vaccine and anecdotal evidence suggested the bloc put all its faith in the development of a French-based vaccine which didn’t materialise.

As a result it had come late to the queue for Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson one-jab vaccine, the latter of which the Taoiseach said was only scheduled to be potentially approved by the EMA in “late April”.

Mr MacSharry said that as the EU dithered, other countries were in quicker and paid higher prices. It was “basic supply and demand economics”, he said, adding there was currently no visibility on vaccine deliveries.

Cork South West TD Christopher O’Sullivan said he would like a zero Covid approach to be taken.

One of those in attendance at the meeting said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly had “waffled on” about Covid issues without giving real answers to member’s concerns.

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