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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 30 August, 2014

Fine Gael investigating Mayor’s race comments

The party has distanced itself from comments made by the Mayor of Naas, Fine Gael councillor Darren Scully, who said he will no longer be dealing with ‘black Africans’ in his constituency.

Mayor of Naas Darren Scully pictured with Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny TD with school children in Kill National School in Kill County Kildare, on day two of the General Election 07.
Mayor of Naas Darren Scully pictured with Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny TD with school children in Kill National School in Kill County Kildare, on day two of the General Election 07.
Image: Eamonn Farrell / Photocall

FINE GAEL IS investigating comments made by the Mayor of Naas, Darren Scully, on radio today.

Mayor Scully, who is a Fine Gael councillor, said on KFM Radio today that he would no longer be dealing with ‘black Africans’ in Naas and would instead pass their concerns onto his colleagues.

Mayor Scully made the comments in order to explain his appearance on the Late Show on Classic Hits 4FM last night, where he was accused of racism by Rosanna Flynn from Residents Against Racism.

He told KFM Radio that he experienced aggression from people trying to receive housing in Naas:

I have been met with aggressiveness, I have been met with bad manners, I have also been played the race card.

He said that based on that, and people telling him “you will help white people, but you don’t help black people,” he had made a decision that he was not going to take on representations from black African in Naas.

He said that it saddened him that people would call him a racist, as he is not.

He said that “everything I do as a councillor is for the common good” and that he doesn’t make an issue of this at council meetings.

A spokesperson from Fine Gael told TheJournal.ie that the matter was under investigation.

He said:

The views expressed by Councillor Scully do not reflect the views of Fine Gael, and they are not party policy. Fine Gael is an inclusive party and we are trying to build a country that caters for all. The party will be looking into the matter of Councillor Scully’s comments further.

Mayor Scully told TheJournal.ie he could not comment further on his statements, as the matter is under investigation.

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Riordain said today that he is to report Mayor Scully to the Gardaí:

Meanwhile, Labour TD Ciara Conway has said she is appalled by Cllr Scully’s comments.

Writing on the Labour website, she said:

As a mother of a new generation of Irish people, I am absolutely disgusted and sickened by these appallingly ignorant and disgustingly racist comments.

She added that she believed Mayor Scully should be removed from public office.

How dare a public representative exercise such selectivity? How exactly is he defining people of African origin? I have a daughter of mixed parentage, and she’s among a new generation of non-Caucasian Irish citizens. Would Mayor Scully handle her queries?

Show Racism the Red Card co-ordinator Garrett Mullan said:

The qualification for Mr Scully’s comments that ‘I am not racist’ is bizarre. There cannot be an acceptance of racism within politics in Ireland.  Elected representatives have a responsibilty to their constituents. There can be no justification for discriminating against all people of a given background on the basis of supposed ‘rudeness’ of some. He should resign from his office.

Listen: Darren Scully on KFM Radio (mp3) >

Read: Special meeting of Naas Town Council called following Mayor’s comments>

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