Monday 9 December 2019

Candidate resigns after racist posts

Cathal O'Reilly
Cathal O'Reilly

Pat Flynn

A SINN Fein election candidate has resigned from the party after admitting making anti-Traveller remarks on Facebook three years ago.

Cathal O'Reilly was one of three candidates seeking election for Sinn Fein to Clare County Council.

But screen grabs from Facebook have been appearing in recent days showing comments purportedly made by Mr O'Reilly in 2011.

One comment, dated October 19, 2011 said: "Great to turn on Sky News and see the knackers kicked up and down the dale however will the cops get the smell off nack of their batons."

The comment is understood to relate to the Dale Farm Traveller evictions in England on that date.

Last night Sinn Fein in Clare issued a statement on behalf of Mr O'Reilly.

"In the last two days, anti-Traveller comments have been attributed to me. I did make those comments. It was three years ago and I am deeply ashamed of them now. I should not have made them," the statement began.

"I'm sure none of us are proud of everything we ever said or did in our lives. Being in Sinn Fein has taught me a lot over the past few years and human rights and respect for all people are some of those things. It is something I should not have had to learn.

"Because of this, I offered my resignation to the party earlier today and it has been accepted. I now wish to move on with my life as a private citizen."

Mr O'Reilly was not contactable last night.

Irish Independent

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