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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Fine Gael councillor scratched in face while canvassing in Clonakilty

Humphrey Deegan says he “didn’t sleep a wink” last night, in the wake of the incident.

Image: Jim Daly TD/Twitter

A FINE GAEL Councillor says he’ll be making a statement to the gardaí in the coming days, following an incident yesterday in which he was scratched in the face while out canvassing.

It happened at around 4.30pm on Connolly Street in the County Cork town.

“This guy started shouting from the car — ‘you Blueshirt bastard, you liar’,” Councillor Humphrey Deegan said.

He parked the car and jumped out of it and kept on shouting at us, ‘you’re a liar’ and all this sort of thing.

Deegan said he approached the man, told him his behaviour was unacceptable, and to lower his voice.

“I may be a Blueshirt, I told him. But you can’t say I’m a bastard.”

He asked me ‘what are you going to do about it’. I said ‘I’m not going to do anything’.

Deegan said the man, believed to be aged in his early 20s, then knocked his election literature out of his hands.

“I tried to restrain him up against the car,” Deegan said, adding that he sustained the superficial cuts to his face in the ensuing scuffle.

The man who had been in the car then called the gardaí, saying he had been assaulted, Deegan said.

Local gardaí responded, and both men were told to come to the station in the coming days and make statements about the incident.

“What disturbed me was the viciousness of the attack and the verbal abuse — just because I held a different political view to him,” the Fine Gael councillor said.

It was blind hatred. I don’t understand it.

Deegan said his injury had been checked out, but that the wounds were purely superficial.

However, he says he was left shaken by the incident:

I didn’t sleep a wink last night — I was up watching Geronimo at 6 o’clock.

He said he would be out canvassing again this evening, adding “I couldn’t give in to this carry-on”.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed officers responded to the incident. She said no arrests had been made, and that the incident was under investigation.

Read: A comedian’s brother, a garda whistleblower… The ‘super subs’ that could end up in Europe

Read: Fianna Fáil condemns anti-Semitic remark allegedly made by canvasser

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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