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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Dana only has herself to blame for furore over allegations

QUI bono -- who benefits from the Dana saga? She says people are out to get her, but who are they? And why would they bother attacking someone who is languishing bottom of the polls and who is facing a struggle to even recoup her election expenses?

While David Norris also exhibited suspicions about where the attacks on him were coming from, it could be explained by the fact that he was leading the polls and was at that stage the favourite for the presidency.

Dana was at the bottom of the field in the last 'Red C' opinion poll on 6pc, seven points behind second last Mary Davis. It makes no sense for someone to try to destroy her campaign, and not with the vitriolic glee she indicated some people were taking in doing so.

In her interview with TV3's Ursula Halligan last night, Dana was melodramatic when explaining away the bombshell she dropped at the end of the 'Prime Time' presidential debate.

She herself introduced this controversy into the presidential election, when she told the nation on Wednesday: "It has come to my attention that yet further allegations, this time of a most untrue, malicious and vile nature, have been levelled against a member of my family."

So who tried to get the controversy -- which she last night said involved sexual accusations against a member of her family -- into the public domain? Dana traces this back to an email she received last Saturday night.

"I have my suspicions as to who it was from. I won't be able to share all that was in the email but I do have a copy of the opening of it which I think is self-explanatory. It said 'ha, ha, ha, ha -- the bitch is finally getting what she deserves', and went on from there to make false accusations."

She then claimed this was picked up by a freelance journalist, who asked her about the accusations. Is she indicating the journalist was put up to it by the person who called her a bitch in the email? We don't know the substance of the email, since she only chose to release the vulgar and tasteless line, which she is entitled to feel hurt about.

The irony of the affair is the allegations have only surfaced on the internet, and not in newspapers, after Dana said in her now infamous 'Prime Time' outing that they would be appearing in print.

But the public appetite to find out what the hell she was talking about grew once she made her statement, and arguably led to the allegations appearing online.

She should be facing into this weekend with the initial storm over her US citizenship subsiding and her campaign, while hardly challenging the frontrunners, getting into its stride.

Instead, after spending two days consulting with lawyers and her campaign team, she was forced to address the issue in her TV3 interview.

"I have been stressing that this is malicious lies, malicious lies, and it is of a sexual nature because of a member of my family and I know that it is not true because the first time it was ever raised was in a court case in a family dispute. Never before, was not acted upon at that time. The second time it is raised is now in the middle of my election campaign with the obvious desire of trying to destroy my character."

While it is undoubtedly upsetting for her and her family, it is her own fault it has been dragged out across the airways and in newsprint.

Irish Independent

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