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Fine Gael hopeful told to 'get the queers to vote for you'

Councillor Sharon Tolan received the anonymous message yesterday morning.

sharon tolan Sharon Tolan Twitter Twitter

A FINE GAEL councillor, who hopes to run in the next general election, was told to “get the queers to vote for you” in a message written on a letter she sent to party members.

Councillor Sharon Tolan received the anonymous message on one of the letters she sent to the party’s 400 members in Louth-East Meath seeking their support ahead of Fine Gael’s selection convention in the constituency next week.

Tolan, who strongly campaigned for a Yes vote in the recent marriage referendum, said she was now weighing up a complaint to party headquarters about the matter.

It’s unclear whether the message was written by a disgruntled member who received the letter or someone else.

The message, which Tolan received in the post yesterday morning, was written across the bottom of the letter with the member’s name at the top scribbled out.

It states:

Get the queers to vote for you. Fine Gael will not get our votes.

Tolan 2

The Meath county councillor told “I was shocked at the incredibly toxic tone of the message, and to be honest this is totally at odds with the response I have received in general to my canvass.”

The mother-of-three was a strong supporter of a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum and canvassed the constituency along with the Yes Equality group.

However, Tolan said she was the subject of a backlash from some quarters locally with abusive emails sent to her and council colleagues who also backed a Yes vote.

“I even received gay porn where the men had 666 written across their foreheads. You just delete it because they’re nameless and faceless but this irks me. This is a member – probably a former member now – who I probably know and this is how they’re feeling.

She said she would now consider filing a complaint with the party over the matter.

Tolan hopes to be one of the Fine Gael candidates for the competitive five-seat constituency where the party already has two sitting TDs, Fergus O’Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick.

Fellow councillors Dolores Minogue, Colm Markey and Paddy Meade are also putting their names forward at the convention, which takes place next Thursday.

It’s unclear whether Fine Gael will opt for a two or three candidate strategy but the party is likely to have at least one female on the ticket in order to comply with gender quotas.

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