Laois local election candidate says 'no offence intended' to nurses

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois local election candidate says 'no offence intended' to nurses

Laois local election candidate Vivienne Phelan and the tweet she posted that incurred criticism

A young Laois local election candidate who caused a storm of social media criticism after her comment on student nurses this week now says she did not mean offence.

Vivienne Phelan is seeking election for the first time in the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District in the May 24 local elections.

Earlier this week, the vet tweeted that she was "fed up hearing about student nurses and their payment for placement".

"Vet students complete a lot of placement. Lots of travel costs. Lots of accommodation costs. No pay. Keeping up with the rent in Dublin at the same time. Not possible to get a part-time job unlike nurses."

It brought an angry response from thousands of people on social media. Some pointed out that all students need paid placement, and others said they would not be voting for Ms Phelan.

In response, Ms Phelan issued a new tweet on April 11, which stops short of an apology.

"I don't think my earlier tweet struck the right tone. I recently qualified as a vet and I'm all too familiar with the challenges vet students face. However, I shouldn't have compared two different professions that have different demands. No offence was intended."

The public response is still resoundingly negative.