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Fine Gael councillor apologises for calling election rival's posters racist

The use of “one of our own” upset the former mayor of Fingal.

The slogan at the heart of the apology.
The slogan at the heart of the apology.
Image: Natalie Treacy via Facebook

THE FORMER MAYOR of Fingal has apologised to a fellow councillor for suggesting her election posters were racist.

In the run up to the local elections in May, Fine Gael’s Kieran Dennison criticised Sinn Féin’s Natalie Treacy for using the slogan “one of our own” on her posters.

Dennison, who was running in the Mulhuddart ward, described the slogan as “an obvious reference to some of the migrant candidates running” in the Castleknock ward with Treacy.

Treacy said that the slogan was a reference to the fact that the part of the ward she is from had been under-represented.

The Sinn Féin councillor is a native of the Fortlawn estate which is one of few working-class estates in the ward.

Map A map of the Castleknock ward (in red). Treacy's stronghold is in blue. Source: Fingal County Council

Following a legal mediation this week, Dennison has apologised, posting on his website:

I acknowledge that Cllr Natalie Treacy’s election slogan during the course of the last local election was not racist. I also acknowledge that Cllr Natalie Treacy is not a racist. I apologise to Cllr Natalie Treacy.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie today, Treacy said she was “delighted”.

“[Going to court] wasn’t a road that I wanted to take. As an elected councillor I felt I had to.

“I’m delighted that finally [the apology] there. It was dirty tricks at the time.

“I’d never met that man before. We weren’t even running in the same ward.

I ran feeling that for a long time that the people of our area, particularly Fortlawn hadn’t got a voice and that’s what people were saying to me on the doors. They were telling me “of course we’ll vote for you, you’re one of our own”.”

Treacy says that the matter is, in her eyes, over.

“Absolutely the matter is over. We’ll never be friends, but professionally we’ll sit in the council together. You just move on.

“I didn’t do this for myself. I did it for everybody who I promised to be a voice for.”

Read: “Outrage” as vandals tape bacon to posters of candidate with Turkish background

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