Professional boxer and mixed martial artist Conor McGregor lambasted Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar for the politician’s reaction to the release of a kidnapped Irish-Israeli child who was released Saturday.
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McGregor called Varadkar a “disgrace” for describing 9-year-old Emily Hand as having been “lost” and then “found,” terms the champion boxer said didn’t equate to the horror of what she actually faced at the hands of Hamas terrorists when she was taken Oct. 7 and held for weeks.
“She was abducted by an evil terrorist organization,” McGregor wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “What is with you and your government and your paid for media affiliates constantly downplaying/attempting to repress horrific acts that happen to children? You are a disgrace.”
He continued, “The day after a stabbing of children in Ireland, NOT ONE PAPER HAD IT ON THEIR FRONT COVER. We will not forget.”
She was abducted by an evil terrorist organization. What is with you and your government and your paid for media affiliates constantly down playing / attempting to repress horrific acts that happen to children. You are a disgrace. The day after a stabbing of children in Ireland,… https://t.co/YKyviZDLfW— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 26, 2023
McGregor was specifically reacting to an X post by Varadkar in which the prime minister used the aforementioned language when speaking about Hand’s release.
“This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family,” Varadkar wrote. “An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.”
It seems McGregor isn’t the only person to take issue with the prime minister’s use of language to discuss the child’s captivity at the hands of Hamas terrorists.
Mr. Prime Minister,— אלי כהן | Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) November 26, 2023
It seems you have lost your moral compass and need a reality check!
Emily Hand was not “lost”, she was kidnapped by a terror organization worse than ISIS that murdered her stepmother.
Emily and more than 30 other Israeli children were taken hostage by Hamas,… https://t.co/CD5wIZJN4i
Eli Cohen, Israel’s foreign minister, posted a statement on X Sunday, skewering Varadkar and accusing him of “trying to legitimize and normalize terror.”
“Mr. Prime Minister, it seems you have lost your moral compass and need a reality check!” Cohen wrote. “Emily Hand was not ‘lost.’ She was kidnapped by a terror organization worse than ISIS that murdered her stepmother.”
He continued, “Emily and more than 30 other Israeli children were taken hostage by Hamas, and you @LeoVaradkar are trying to legitimize and normalize terror. Shame on you!”
X also placed a context box under Varadkar’s original post, noting how users found the language inappropriate to describe what unfolded.
“Emily Hand was kidnapped by Hamas Terrorists on October the 7th,” it read. “The use of the term ‘lost’ is inappropriate and fails to highlight that she was released as part of a hostage deal.”
As for Varadkar, he defended his remarks, proclaiming, “The vast majority of people will know what I meant.”
As for the latter part of McGregor’s message regarding the stabbing of children, he was referring to a Thursday knife attack in Ireland that injured numerous people, including three children.
The assault, which is being investigated, sparked riots.
As for Hand, she is among Israeli hostages being released as part of a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. The four-day truce will see 50 Israeli children and women under age 19 released, with 150 Palestinian women and teenagers let go by Israeli officials, according to Reuters.
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