Mother of Labour candidate tells of how family were 'shaking' following abusive confrontation
The mother of a Labour candidate who was forced to abandon canvassing because of an abusive incident has spoken of how they were ‘shaking’ following the confrontation.
Labour Party candidate Martina Genockey was forced to go home with her fellow canvassing mother and brother after she was confronted by protestors against her party.
“Myself, my daughter Martina and my son; the three of us were shaking and the three of us went home,” Martina’s mother Anne Genockey said today.
“We did ask ourselves what are we doing this for, but we know why we’re doing it.
“We love Tallaght and Jobstown and we believe in our community and we’re back out again tonight,” she told Joe Duffy on Liveline this afternoon.
The three family members were canvassing in their local area when they were confronted by protestors against her party.
Before the incident, Ms Genockey claims the same group of people had been bullying her on social media website Facebook.
Martina, her mother and brother were approached by the group who shouted ‘Traitor!’ and filmed the incident.
“My son recognised them from Facebook and told us to walk away,” Anne said.
“We started to walk away, I didn’t know what was happening at first.
“They continued to follow us, asking us questions and filming us, then they started to call Martina a ‘traitor’,” she continued.
“I was shocked, I couldn’t believe this was happening.
“My daughter was getting upset – we’ve lived here for thirty years, this is our neighbourhood. These people were telling us to get out and we live here. She’s already done so much work for the community and she’s not even on the council.”
Ann said her son had noticed the group the previous day following them and had suggested a break to Martina and her mother without them noticing anything amiss.
“What hurt me even more,” Anne continued, “were the comments people made online under this group’s photo of Martina. One person commented and said, ‘Ah well, she’s cute’ and he wrote back, ‘Well, you’d want to see her, obviously all her photos are airbrushed. She has an arse like a hippo.’ I mean, what is that about?.”
Martina Genockey told independent.ie yesterday that she has received messages of support from her community following the incident.
“I didn’t know [the protesters] at all before this. My brother knew who they were. It’s not about me. They’ve made it personal but they’re part of protest groups. I think it’s just because I’m in their estate that they took it this far,” she said.
“They’ve had a very negative reaction. People are good and decent. It only happened yesterday but they had a hugely negative reaction.”
“I did yesterday feel threatened. I wouldn’t say I felt afraid but I felt bullied, and they took it to the streets,” she continued.
“I did think yesterday ‘what am I doing’? The only reason I want to run is I want to stand up for my area.”
“But I realised last night especially with the messages of support that I got, that I’d be letting people down.”
“I’m putting myself out there but when it affects my family and my own mother is upset, and my brother, that’s hard.”
“It has become a bit of an issue.”