Thursday 18 July 2019

'I just wanted to meet people' - Shane Ross defends canvassing after dark over Christmas

Shane Ross has defended canvassing after dark over Christmas Photo: Steve Humphreys
Shane Ross has defended canvassing after dark over Christmas Photo: Steve Humphreys
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Transport Minister Shane Ross has defended canvassing his constituents’ houses after dark during the Christmas period.

Mr Ross admitted some of his constituents were a “bit surprised” to see him when he called to their doors during the festive break. “If it has offended some people I’m sorry,” he said.

The minister was responding to calls on RTE Radio One’s Liveline where callers complained about being canvassed in the evening on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve.

One caller complained Mr Ross called to her door at 8.45pm on New Year’s Eve.  Another said a leaflet promoting Mr Ross was dropped into her letter box on Christmas Eve.

A constituent also called in to say he had spotted Mr Ross “popping in and out” of gardens in a Santa Claus hat on Christmas Eve.

A separate caller who works with the elderly said many older people are frightened by someone calling after dark. Other callers praised Mr Ross for visiting their houses of constituents.

Mr Ross said some people answered the doors while others looked out their windows and did not answer.

The minister said the “vast majority” of people were “delighted” to see him but a “little shocked”.

He said the “only time” he can meet people is after dark as he is busy with his ministerial duties during the day.

“I’m sorry if you think I did wrong but I just wanted to meet people,” he said.

“I don’t want to make a great virtue of it but is my job to meet people,” he added.

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