Thursday 18 January 2018

Nulty 'a shy man – he's last person you'd suspect of this behaviour'

Brian Fitzpatrick, Laura Hilliard and niece Emily Martin, 17 months, from Blanchardstown. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Brian Fitzpatrick, Laura Hilliard and niece Emily Martin, 17 months, from Blanchardstown. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

SUPPORT for Patrick Nulty remains steadfast among many constituents who live close to the Edgewood Lawns estate in Blanchardstown, where he was born and raised.

But others struggled to comprehend how the "shy and unassuming" politician could have engaged in such "sordid" behaviour.

John Murphy, a friend of Mr Nulty's family, said while his behaviour was certainly unbecoming for a TD, his professional attributes and track record "speaks for itself".

"My whole family know him and he's a very honourable and decent man," he said. "One of my daughters went to school with him – apart from politics he's a very quiet, decent individual, who keeps to himself."

He added: "He jumped into the resignation decision too quickly. He should have sat back and let things play out for a day or two and see what would happen.

"I take it on board that his actions were wrong, but as he said himself, there was drink involved.

"He's a professional and he shouldn't have got involved in that kind of thing.

"He was very naive to have got mixed up in all that internet stuff; but... if he ran again I'd have no problem voting for him."

Mr Nulty was not at home throughout yesterday afternoon, and the curtains were drawn in the semi-detached house where he lives.

His mother, who lives only a few hundred yards away, said she had no comment to make on the matter.

Local resident Brian Fitzpatrick was critical and said Mr Nulty's behaviour was "definitely not right for someone who is a politician and in such a high-profile position".

"As a public figure he shouldn't have written those things online," he said.

But local woman Marie Ivers said while she was surprised by the revelations, she was unwavering in her support. "He's a shy man and is the last person you'd suspect of of behaving in this way. It's an awful pity because he comes from a lovely family."

Another constituent, Philip Hickey, said: "He did the right thing by resigning. If he had left it for a day or two before standing down it only would have got worse for him.

"I don't believe he will run as a candidate again... but if he did I'd think twice as to whether I'd vote for him."

Other locals did not wish to comment – but while some condemned his behaviour, others said he should be given "a second chance".

"It shows the dangers of internet technology and how it can be abused, especially when alcohol is involved.

"I also feel great sympathy for the girl involved. But a ruined political career – ending with such a sense of shame – is a high price to pay," said one resident.

Irish Independent

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