Sean Gallen, a writer and director, said he thinks Green Party leader Eamon Ryan's intentions in the Dáil yesterday were "really good" as he tried "to bring up this big issue of racism within an Irish context".

Eamon Ryan used the 'N' word as he quoted from Mr Gallen's article in the Dáil chamber, and later apologised for saying the racial slur. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Gallen said it was a shock to hear Mr Ryan use the word, saying it was "unfortunate and disappointing" that he made such a misstep.

However he said discussing these issues is often a minefield.

"I don't think he said it or used it with any intended malice or bad intention. If you can look at your mistakes and try correct them and move on, that is the best we can do. We need to have these conversations so I hope it does not stop people from having these conversations in parliament in future."

He said fear often deters people from talking about racism and he said we need to have these uncomfortable conversations.

Mr Gallen said growing up in Dublin, he knew he was being picked on for his colour, and the ‘N’ word felt like "a special insult".

He felt he was beneath this other child who was calling him this word.

"I didn't know the history of slavery but there is an indication and understanding of what is going on with the use of that word. There is so much complex history with the ‘N’ word that goes back to slavery, colonisation, and to bring that into a modern context, it lowers you, it others you.

"It removes you from everything that is considered white and Irish and you are not part of that."

He believes that there needs to be more discussion about racism in schools to educate children.

"It needs to be a bigger part of schooling. The education, the sensitisation of kids to the use of this language and other discriminatory language."