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Fine Gael councillor defends letter saying Syrian 3-year-old's family 'were not fleeing for their lives'

Darren Scully appeared on Today FM’s The Anton Savage Show this morning.

Darren Scully
Darren Scully

FINE GAEL COUNCILLOR Darren Scully has defended a letter he wrote saying the family of Aylan Kurdi, who drowned with his five-year-old brother off the coast of Turkey, were not fleeing for their lives.

Speaking on Today FM’s The Anton Savage Show this morning, Scully said that he thought it important that the media and politicians should “encourage people not to take crazy risks in trying to get across to Europe”.

“I think that’s what we should do. We should encourage people not to take ridiculous risks that put themselves and their families in jeopardy of losing their lives. That would be very responsible of politicians,” he went on.

The letter by Scully published in the Sunday Times at the weekend was in response to an article published in the paper by Justine McCarthy, a Sunday Times journalist, in which she discussed Europe’s responsibility for the case.

scully letter

In his letter, Scully stated:

He was not fleeing war, as his family had been living with him in a safe country. He had tried to get across to Greece before. To me it seems obvious that when you are living and working in a safe country, you are not fleeing for your life.

Speaking to host Anton Savage, Scully maintained his view that Aylan Kurdi’s father took an unnecessary risk.

“I think that when the message went out from Europe that ‘yes, you can come to Europe and we can make a better life for you’, I think he said, ‘well I am going to take that chance, and take that risk’ and I think that’s what happened,” he said.

The former mayor of Naas, Co Kildare was previously caught up in controversy in 2011 due to comments he made about black Africans in his constituency. 

The Fine Gael councillor stated that he felt the need for the media and politicians to address the migrant crisis in a balanced way.

“What I am asking from all media is to please report what is happening in a very unbiased way, and a very truthful way,” he said.

As the father of three young boys I was very emotive about it.

Read: Fine Gael councillor says drowned Syrian 3-year-old and family “were not fleeing for their lives”

Also: Police officer who carried drowned Syrian boy speaks of ‘indescribable pain’

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