Fine Gael has removed a campaign video depicting Fianna Fáil TDs running around Dublin City Centre looking for policies.
The video was uploaded to social media on Friday night but has since been removed.
The decision to take it down was not unanimous in Fine Gael headquarters with some senior figures believing it should have remained online. However, others thought the tongue-in-cheek campaign attack ad was not appropriate as the party struggled to deal with the fallout from a breakdown in law and order across the country.
The short recording involved four people wearing Fianna Fáil TD masks searching for policies around the city.
They looked in bins, under stairways and in cupboards as the Benny Hill theme tune plays in the background.
The TDs depicted were Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin, Micheal McGrath, Eamon O Cuiv and Willie O’Dea.
The caption on the Tweet said: “72 hours into #GE2020, Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin and his team spent today still trying to find their policies.”
There was a divisive reaction to the video when it was uploaded by Fine Gael’s official Twitter account.
Some complained online that it was inappropriate to upload the video after a week of controversy about gangland violence and homelessness.
The video was taken down within 12 hours of being uploaded. It had almost 121,000 views before it was taken down.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar denied Fine Gael’s aggressive Twitter posts make it the ‘nasty party’ of the election.
He said: “Not at all. we’re a very kind and caring party. We’re absolutely committed to making our country a better place.”
Mr Varadkar also denied he was embarrassed by the video and that’s why it was removed.
He claimed: “It’s a video that made a serious point in a comical way and the serious point is that Fianna Fáil has no policies. They’re not a serious alternative.”
Asked about the criticism of the video online he said: “When it comes to social media you get negative commentary no matter what you put up… that’s just the nature of social media.”
He said the video was removed “because some people thought it was silly and we want to make the same point in a more serious way.”
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