DUBLIN local election candidate Noel Rock has threatened legal action against a fellow ward candidate, Sean Tyrrell, after he recently made claims regarding his income.
Mr Rock – a Fine Gael candidate in the new Ballymun ward – has advised independent candidate Sean Tyrrell, in a message online, that he may take legal action against him.
The Fine Gael representative sent Mr Tyrrell the message on Facebook on January 1, the same day that Mr Tyrrell had issued a press release accusing a number of fellow candidates of “disingenuous gimmicks”.
In the statement, Mr Tyrrell – a Ballymun native – said that it was the height of “phony politics” for some candidates to claim that they were making sacrifices.
“Noel Rock is currently working at taxpayers’ expense as a well-paid parliamentary assistant in Leinster House,” Mr Tyrrell claimed.
Mr Rock today confirmed to the Herald that he sent Mr Tyrrell a message on the social media site saying: “I would advise a withdrawal before a solicitor’s letter is issued.”
He also refuted the the suggestion that he is a “well-paid parliamentary assistant”.
“I am not a parliamentary assistant – that's not my pay grade, that's not my rank. I am a secretarial assistant to Senator Catherine Noone – the Seanad doesn't have parliamentary assistants,” said Mr Rock.
“He has made a claim that I am well-paid, I am not even full-time. I am paid €22,000 per year. It's an outrageous slur to make when I am on effectively minimum wage,” he said.
Mr Rock (26) has previously vowed that if he is elected onto Dublin City Council, he intends to forgo expenses – which could amount to €35,000 – for his term in office. Mr Tyrrell last night said that he continues to stand by the remarks he made in the statement.
He said they are his personal opinion which is he “free to express”, an issue he pointed out to Mr Rock during their Facebook exchange.
“At the end of the day, if he is working for a Senator in the parliament, he is a parliamentary assistant.
“At the end of the day, a secretary is somebody's assistant.
“I'm not saying this is true, but if I wanted I could say that €10 per week is a very well-paid job, because that's my opinion, which I'm free to express,” Mr Tyrrell said.