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Patrick Nulty Quits Over Facebook Messages
An Irish politician has quit after admitting sending inappropriate messages to women on Facebook, one of them a 17-year-old.
Patrick Nulty announced in a statement on Saturday he was standing down as an independent Teachta D?, a member of the lower house of the Irish Parliament, just hours before a newspaper was due to publish the story.
"I sent inappropriate messages via Facebook," the Dublin West representative said.
"This included inadvertently sending one to a 17-year-old woman. To the best of my knowledge I have never met this woman and the message was sent while under the influence of alcohol."
The former Labour Party TD, who was elected in 2011, apologised "wholeheartedly" to the girl and her family.
"It was never my intention to upset anyone in this way but it was totally wrong," he said.
The Sunday World newspaper claimed the 31-year-old asked a schoolgirl in a late night message: "Have you ever been spanked?"
The paper also alleged a woman was asked to send underwear in the post, while another was urged to wear a skirt on a visit to a constituency clinic.
Mr Nulty was confronted with "geo-tagging" evidence claiming the messages were sent from inside Leinster House, home to the Irish Republic's houses of parliament.
He admitted the message was inappropriate and said he took full responsibility for his actions.
"I set myself the highest standards personally and politically. Unfortunately due to personal mistakes I have not met those standards in this matter and I will take responsibility for that."
"In politics people very often do not take responsibility for their actions. I hope I am doing that. I would further like to apologise to my constituents in Dublin West for my mistake.
"I hope they will understand my reasons for resigning and accept my apology.
"I hope that as I have taken decisive and direct action on this matter my privacy will now be respected in what has been a very difficult decision for me personally."