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Sam Boal
Travelling Community

New tweets emerge of Fianna Fáil's Lorraine Clifford-Lee using offensive term 'pikey'

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Examiner, the senator said that what she did was “wrong” and that she was sorry.

MORE HISTORICAL TWEETS sent by Fianna Fáil senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee have emerged where she repeatedly uses the term “pikey” in a derogatory manner. 

Clifford-Lee has come under fire in recent days over tweets she sent in the past in which she used the words “Traveller” and “knacker” in a negative sense. 

The senator has claimed that the tweets are being used as part of a smear campaign. She is a by-election candidate for Dublin Fingal after the Dáil seat was vacated by Clare Daly, who was elected as an MEP in May. 

In one of the Twitter posts that have emerged tonight, which were first reported by the Irish Independent, the senator says:

“Cheryl has a new hair colour and has gotten rid of the pikey extensions at long last. Yawn. Why do people find this woman interesting?!”

image Twitter Twitter

A number of tweets from 2011 and 2012 that had been on Clifford-Lee’s Twitter page have been removed since the first derogatory tweets were reported on. 

These included a post from May 2012 in which she said: “FG have some real racist beauties, don’t they”.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Examiner that was published at 6.40pm, Clifford-Lee said that she would like to apologise “face-to-face” to the Travelling community.

She said what she did was “wrong” and she was “sorry from the bottom of my heart”.

In response to the new tweets, a Fianna Fáil spokesperson sent the same statement that was sent in response to the first tweets, adding that this was still the party’s position. 

This statement said that Clifford-Lee “wrote these tweets in a personal capacity many years ago. It was before she was elected or became a member of the parliamentary party”.

“It is party policy for some time that each member is responsible for their own tweets. The Fianna Fáil party does not condone these tweets and believe they were inappropriate.”

“However, Senator Clifford-Lee has acknowledged her mistakes, has apologised and deeply regrets them,” it said.

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