Sunday 11 December 2016

Fianna Fáil TD apologises for 'for any offence caused' when he asked Justice Minister how many Muslim people have applied for Irish citizenship

Published 28/06/2016 | 18:33

Deputy Eamon Scanlon
Deputy Eamon Scanlon

A FIANNA Fáil TD has apologised after facing a storm of criticism for asking Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald how many Muslim people have applied for Irish citizenship.

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Sligo-Leitrim TD Eamon Scanlon asked the Tánaiste how many Muslims applied for citizenship over the past three years through a parliamentary question.

Mr Scanlon came under fire and his motives were questioned when his query and the minister’s response was published.

This morning, the Fianna Fáil TD told his local radio station, Shannonside FM, he did not mean to cause any offence.

"It was a query from a constituent. He asked me did I know the information and I said I didn’t. He asked me could I get the information and I said I would try to get it,” he said.

"The parliamentary question has been misinterpreted and I wish to apologise for any offence caused.

"I'm sorry it's been misrepresented and I can genuinely assure everybody that was completely and utterly unintended,” he added.

In response to his query, Ms Fitzgerald said those applying for citizenship did not have to provide details of their religion.

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