SF mayor sorry for 'strong language' used on Facebook over A&E protest
Published 02/08/2011 | 05:00
A MAYOR who was branded "a disgrace" over her use of strong language on a social networking site has apologised, accepting it was not appropriate to her office.
Sinn Fein councillor Jane Suffin said she had used strong language on her Facebook page "in the heat of the moment".
She used a string of four-letter words in her posts in reference to a protest on the closure of Roscommon Hospital's A&E, and about local TD Frank Feighan who voted with the Government on closing the service.
The newly elected mayor of Boyle in Co Roscommon said that while she now accepted the choice of language was not appropriate, she still stood over the sentiments expressed on her Facebook page.
Ms Suffin lashed out at her town council colleagues and local people over their lack of support for a protest she had organised on the opening night of the Boyle Arts Festival last week.
In a message posted on her Facebook page following the protest, Ms Suffin said: "People power my arse, power to the people my arse . . . where was Frank Feighan TD, in King House having his arse licked."
In a postscript she offered: "We can even supply wipes for when your (sic) finished kissing Frankie's TD ass. Better get a big supply of them in as there'll be thousands looking for them."
Of local people, she wrote: "Have you ever known Boyle any different, giving out like f**k while drinking tea in there kitchen's (sic) and full to the gills on a high stool.
"But when it comes to making a stand they have as much backbone as there (sic) local TD and deserve whatever kick in the arse they get . . . a few words spring to mind, spineless, two-faced, narrow-minded, selfish."
In an earlier posting on July 10 she wrote: "The day's off (sic) the money talks and s**t walks attitude is well and truly over for the people of Roscommon and we are to take this chance to push this down the neck of our so called TDs. F**k u Jack I'm alright -- well let me tell ya f**k you Frank u ain't."
The first citizen of the town said her use of strong language was "down to pure frustration and anger".
"I do accept the language is not fitting for a town mayor but at the time it was the heat of the moment and these things happen and you lose your temper and see red," she said.
"If the language did offend anyone, I'm totally sorry. Normally I would not use language like that but it galled me so much."
Ms Suffin was also criticised for wearing her chain of office at the protest.
"I felt it only fitting and right that the mayor of Boyle would be seen to be supporting the people," Ms Suffin told the Irish Independent. "I was not going to compromise what I believe in because I had the chain of office. I was invited to the opening of the arts festival and the only people who took issue with it were the Fine Gael members of the council.
"They should have better things to be concentrating on than me wearing a chain of office at a protest."
One member of the town council, who did not wished to be named, said a Fine Gael voting pact had put Ms Suffin in the position of mayor and it was now up to them to deal with it.
It is understood the FG members of the town council will meet this week to discuss the issue.