A former assistant of an Irish politician allegedly hacks his account and posted an offensive tweet

Diarmuid Hayes allegedly posted an offensive tweet about former Green Party candidate Saoirse McHugh.

The post, which appeared in the early hours of September 28, 2020, read: “Sapirse mchugh photo skinny dipping.”

It led some people to believe that the person operating the account was searching for photos of the ex-Green politician.

The post was quickly deleted and the Independent Midlands Northwest MEP immediately claimed he was hacked.

He contacted police in Belgium who launched an investigation.

His ex-assistant Hayes — who had worked with Ming between 2018 and 2019 — yesterday appeared in court accused of posting the ­damaging tweet.

The Irish film-maker is officially accused of two breaches of ­Belgian law — illegally accessing the MEP’s Twitter/X account and entering false data. Hayes was in court but has yet to enter a plea.

Speaking at the court, Flanagan said he was “relieved” that his name is being cleared.

The MEP told RTE: “I’m relieved also for Saoirse McHugh because I see the amount of abuse that she gets online.

 “It’s hard enough for women to get involved in politics without this sort of crap happening, so all round it’s a really, really good day.

“I’m very relieved and it’s a big weight off my shoulders.”

Ms McHugh is named as a ­victim in the court case along with another current assistant of Ming Flanagan’s However, neither have pressed charges.