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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Lorainne Higgins criticised after campaign van parked in a disabled space

The Labour MEP candidate in Midlands-North-West said the incident was “an honest mistake”.

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SENATOR LORRAINE HIGGINS has come under fire after one of her campaign vans was spotted in a disabled parking space.

The incident took place yesterday in Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath when a campaign member was out putting up posters.

Higgins is running for Labour in the Midlands-North-West constituency in this week’s European election.

When she was made aware of the incident on Twitter, she said it was “an honest mistake” that “won’t happen again”.

Tracey Holsgrove, a mother of a daughter with disabilities who lives nearby, said Higgins’s words were “ill-chosen” and she criticised her for not apologising outright.

“Imagine how that makes the disabled community feel? Once again a politician rams home the message that they don’t matter,” Holsgrove said.

So it was 8 am – so what? People with disabilities are out and about before 8 am, you know! Or are people with disabilities, like my daughter, and those who care for them, like me, supposed to be hidden away in our houses or care homes while the rest of the world goes about its business?

Some people accepted Higgins’s response, but others were less forgiving.

Read: MEP hopeful says she will report poster vandalism to gardaí

Read: Labour Senator’s attack on election rival continues amid calls to withdraw ‘sexist remark’

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