Councillor in racism row to run for party next year
FINE Gael has readmitted a councillor who was expelled from the party after saying he would not represent "black Africans". The move means Darren Scully will be a Fine Gael candidate in next year's local elections.
The Kildare County Council member was reported to gardai two years ago after he said he found certain members of the black community to be aggressive and bad mannered.
Cllr Scully apologised and resigned as mayor of Naas and lost the party whip after his controversial comments in November 2011.
The councillor was accused of racism after the interview in which he said: "I've been met with aggressiveness, I've been met with bad manners and I've also been played the race card.
"It's been said, 'You would help white people but you don't help black people'."
He went on to say: "After a while of this I made a decision that I was not going to take on representations from Africans. I've said that I would be very courteous to them and that I would pass on their query to other public representatives who would take their concerns."
Labour Party TD Aodhan O Riordain reported the remarks by the 40-year-old father of two to gardai under the Incitement to Hatred Act. FG initiated its own internal investigation.
The party's disciplinary committee withdrew the whip in February 2012.
Cllr Scully was unavailable for comment yesterday.
FG general secretary Tom Curran, confirmed the councillor's readmission to the party yesterday.
Mr Curran said his political career "certainly suffered a setback" and he had paid a price politically, standing down as mayor of Naas Town Council and losing the party whip.
"Why now? Because it was always the intention he would have an opportunity to return," he said on KFM Radio.
FG said that Cllr Scully had "caused deep hurt and offence".
"He accepted his mistake very quickly, and apologised unreservedly."