| 4.5°C Dublin

Ex-mayor suspended over 'racist' remarks

CONTROVERSIAL councillor Darren Scully has been suspended from his senior position with an engineering firm, it has emerged.

The former mayor of Naas sparked national outrage last week after claiming he would no longer represent "black Africans" in his role as a local politician. Mr Scully quickly resigned from his post as mayor after an official complaint was lodged with gardai.

The comments prompted a number of TDs to brand Mr Scully a "racist", while Fine Gael is yet to decide whether to expel him as a councillor.



Aggressive

Mr Scully sparked fury after claiming in an interview with 4fm that he would no longer represent "black Africans" who he described as "quick to play the race card", "rude" and "aggressive".

Asked how he would respond to a person of African origin if they contacted him seeking representation, Mr Scully said: "Well, I will very politely refer them to another one of my council colleagues as I have taken the decision not to represent them."

He has since retracted the comments and apologised.

Gardai are continuing to investigate the remarks after Labour TD Aodhan O Riordain lodged an official complaint.

As revealed by the Herald, the father-of-two has received a number of sinister death threats since making the remarks.

His wife and children have also received a barrage of abuse when leaving the family home.

It has now emerged that Mr Scully has been suspended from his job with an engineering firm pending a decision as to whether to impose disciplinary action.

A source close to Mr Scully told the Herald today that he does not yet know whether he will be kept on in his job.



Devastated

"The comments prompted his employer to suspend him. He's devastated over it. He has lost his job as mayor and now may lose his job as an engineer. He has not been eating or sleeping. It's taken a huge toll on his family and friends."

The 38-year-old reiterated his "sincere apology" this weekend, adding that he wants "nothing more" than to "win back the public's trust".

"The comments were totally the wrong thing to say. I retract every single word of it and I am so genuinely sorry.

"I am not a racist. What I said was not what I meant in my heart and soul. I didn't put enough thought into it. Obviously I was expressing my own personal view of dealings I had with regards to council workings with some people but I knew what I said was wrong."

He added: "You cannot, you just cannot paint an entire continent with one brush by saying something like that. You just can't do that. That's unforgivable.

"I should have said that I would not deal with anybody who is aggressive. We have aggressive Irish. We have aggressive other nationalities. But what I said was that I wouldn't deal with black Africans and that's wrong, you can't say that."

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy