DANA ROSEMARY SCALLON has insisted she will continue her presidential campaign, despite the emergence of new allegations regarding members of her family.
In an interview on TV3 News this evening, Scallon said the new allegations were “of a sexual nature” and involved a member of her family.
“We were under tremendous pressure, within my family, from a freelance journalist,” she said, referring to the statement she made at the end of RTÉ’s Prime Time debate on Wednesday evening.
She had been approached by that journalist, who was compiling the story, on Wednesday afternoon ahead of the RTÉ debate.
The journalist said the story would appear in a double-page spread in a newspaper the following day. Scallon declined to name the journalist or the newspaper involved.
I have been stressing that this is malicious lies and it is of a sexual nature regarding a member of my family.
I know it is not true… because the first time it was ever raised was in a court case in a family dispute, never before. It was not acted upon at that time. The second time it was raised was in the middle of my election campaign, with the obvious desire of trying to destroy my character.
Dana said the fact that the allegation had not been acted upon, despite its mention in court, was enough to assure her that it was untrue. She added she had “suspicions” as to who was behind the new emergence of the allegations.
“I don’t know of any sane person who would ever do this,” she said. ”I did say that if it were to happen again, I would step down. And I truly felt this was an attempt to make me stand down.”
‘Nothing to be ashamed of’
She said she would not be withdrawing from the election as a result of the new allegations, however – asserting she would not be “broken” by the rumour and that she had “nothing to be ashamed of”.
“I cannot bend to bullying and intimidation or blackmail, or any form of pressure upon me.”
The interview is available in full on the TV3 website.
Scallon had not been seen on the campaign trail since her dramatic statement on the Prime Time debate on Wednesday in which she referred to allegations about her family “of a most untrue, malicious and vile nature”.
Scallon spent much of yesterday in talks with her legal team here in Ireland and the US regarding the allegations which were levelled against a family member on Wednesday.
A number of newspapers in Ireland are reportedly aware of the allegations but are not publishing them for legal reasons.
Additional reporting by Hugh O’Connell