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20th Dec 2016

That Politician We Actually Like: 9 Times Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin Was An Absolute Boss


A fully qualified primary school teacher and working principal, Mr Aodhán O’Ríordáin gave it all up to become a voice of the people.

And since then, during his journey from the backbenches to the sub-cabinet ranks, AOR stands up for what he believes in and really puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

Here are nine instances when he stole our hearts and stuck it to the man.

1. When #PinGate happened

On the 9th May this year, Ó’Ríordáin graced Brendan O’Connor’s Saturday Night Show wearing a rainbow Yes Equality pin to show his support for the Yes side of the marriage referendum.

During their chat, O’Connor stopped the Junior Minister mid-sentence and asked him to take off said pin. Ó’Ríordáin removed the pin and said to the presenter, “It’s a Yes pin.”

After the show, he refused to stay mum about the scandal and tweeted his feelings about the whole thing under the hashtag #PinGate.

2. When he rose above the bullies

No stranger to oppression, Aodhán recalls the days of his youth when he wasn’t the most popular in the class.

“The fact that my name is Aodhán Ó Ríordáin – I used to be called ‘Gay-dan O’Queer-don”’

He also stated that on his weekly paper route that he used to do when he was a kid, he was tormented relentlessly by the kids of the village. Since then he has certainly shown then what he was worth, helping out the smaller reached communities as well as becoming a bit of a big dog in his own right.

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3. When he apologised for Labour raising college fees

During the Trinity College Students’ Union Party Debate last week, Ó’Ríordáin apologised profusely on behalf of the Labour Party for the raising of college registration fees.

Pretty bloody sound of him of him to do so, and not to mention courageous in front of a room of poor students.

4. When he and Ronan Mullen had Twitter beef

And Aodhán didn’t back down.

Ó’Ríordáin originally tweeted a response to the Pro Life Campaign’s Cora Sherlock appearance on Morning Ireland to discuss the UN’s report on Ireland’s abortion laws. Of course this garnered a response from Vote No senator Rónán Mullen stating that he should pipe down.

But AOR didn’t take this lightly. How d’ya like them apples?

5. Everytime he tells it like it is

Ó’Ríordáin wrote a piece calling the Dáil out, saying that it was unbalanced because it didn’t have enough gay, disabled or black people among its ranks.

He also sought a criminal prosecution of the former mayor of Athy for his controversial comments made about African constituents.

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6. When he promoted the importance of women in society

Ó’Ríordáin was, once upon a time, a principal in an all-girl primary school on Sheriff Street, before his political career kicked off. There, he witnessed firsthand the image girls can have of themselves, and realised that in terms of battling the gender imbalance in society, it would have to start there.

Since then, he has consistently fought for women’s rights and for young women to strive to be more than their appearance.

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7. When he read out his mean tweets without flinching

What once was a Jimmy Kimmel bit, reading out ‘mean tweets’ has become an international phenomenon for anyone with a bit of fame behind them.

No stranger to social media controversy, Aodhán agreed to read a big batch of his out, some of which calling him ‘piss poor’ and an ‘ass hat’, whatever that is.

8. When he admitted to being a bit bold

When asked about his personal experience with drugs, the newly appointed Minister did indeed admit to total curiosity and trying cannabis in Amsterdam when he was a student, where it is of course, legal to do so.

“Once on a trip to Amsterdam as a young student, but I’m not a smoker and I’ve never taken any illegal drugs.”

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9. And finally, when he took time out of his busy schedule to get down to the cold, hard facts

AOR, like the rest of us lowly mortals, was indeed flummoxed by the 2015 phenomenon that was #TheDress.

He, however, unlike us, gave a definitive answer right away. Who’d have thought anyone could even do such a thing.

But, of course, Aodhán could. What a man.