Meath based Fine Gael Senator, Regina Doherty is at the centre of a Twitter storm over controversial Cavan cleric Fr PJ Hughes.

The priest who is the PP of Mullahoran parish was recently fined €500 for allowing parishioners attend mass in his church in an apparent breach of Covid19 regulations, and former government minister Doherty was in full support of the under fire cleric,

She wrote on Twitter that “the fining of Fr Hughes is one of the saddest things that has happened during the past 12 months. €500 fine for saying mass for 6/7 pensioners- cruel”.

At face value, it appears that Doherty is now at odds with her own party’s Covid19 guidance which forms the basis of the current regulations.

The Covid19 response in Ireland, led by Doherty’s party, has resulted in 235K cases in total and 4,666 deaths. The country is currently in Level 5 lockdown, which is unlikely to be lifted soon.

Twitter users, including two Dublin based Councillors, criticised Doherty for her bizarre tweet. Many made reference to their deceased relatives that they had to bury this year due to covid19, some could not attend their loved one’s funeral due to restrictions.

They all questioned how a €500 fine, when he clearly broke the law, could be the saddest thing to happen during the last 12 months, in Doherty’s opinion.

Others told the Senator that she should delete her out of touch tweet and apologise, however, 24 hours later, the tweet, which was endorsed by Carlow/Kilkenny Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan and Director of Iona Institute, David Quinn, is still up.