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Friday 29 August 2014

Irishman Dave O'Rourke 'surprised' by sheer scale of UKIP campaign - but he has no regrets

Published 29/04/2014 | 10:23

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The UKIP poster

Irishman Dave O’Rourke who has shot to fame as the face of a controversial ad campaign by UKIP has said he was “surprised” by the sheer scale of the campaign.

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Mr O’Rourke, who has been living in the UK for ten years, appears as a destitute builder in the party’s latest ad.

He is seen sitting on a pavement with a beggar’s cup. The text carries the caption: “EU policy at work. British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour”.

The poster was launched by UKIP leader Nigel Farage last week, where he said he would like to see immigration cut to 30-50,000 people a year.

Under Ukip proposals Mr O’Rourke would not be able to move to Britain unless he showed he was "highly skilled".

“I didn’t know what the part was consisting of,” Mr O’Rourke told The John Murray Show.

“I knew it was for UKip so I knew it would be for political purposes... I really didn’t think it would be on such a large scale.”

“It had caused massive controversy the campaign – I was one of a few different images put up... it went absolutely viral.”

“I’m pictured basically sitting on the street with a begging cup in front of me, dressed as a builder. I think the rest is fairly obvious.”

Mr O’Rourke gave up his role as a sales rep to pursue acting full time. He said he initially had concerns on how his appearance in the ad campaign would affect his prospects at casting sessions.

But he now has no regrets about doing the ad campaign, and he plans to remain in the UK to pursue his acting career.

“I certainly had concerns when I initially saw it because I really didn’t think it was going to be on this scale and then I had people messaging me on Facebook...and massive billboards of me all over the UK.”

“I was concerned that in regards to casting agents that they’d say oh yeah he’s associated with that brand.”

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