Fine Gael has this evening distanced itself from comments made by former Lord Mayor of Cork, councillor Joe O'Callaghan, who said earlier today that a ban on the Burqa and Niquab is "common sense".

Speaking to Niall Boylan on Classic Hits 4fm today, O'Callaghan said Irish people are "sometimes afraid of our own shadows to say things that might not be popular".

"This has nothing to do with religious freedoms. The Koran doesn't even state that women should have to wear the Burqa or the Niqab" he said.

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