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Linkwinstar Mattathil Mathew pictured with Taoiseach Simon Harris Linkwinstar Mattathil Mathew

FG candidate grateful for outpouring of support after being attacked for putting up posters

Mathew and his colleagues were told to “fuck off back to where you came from” during the incident.

A LOCAL ELECTION candidate for Artane-Whitehall in Dublin was forced to take down election posters on Friday night after being harassed, intimidated and subjected to a barrage of racist abuse. 

Speaking to The Journal, Fine Gael candidate Linkwinstar Mattathil Mathew said the incident was intimidating but that he would not have spoken about it if a video of the incident wasn’t posted online by the agitators. 

Mathew said he could not understand why the agitators would post the video. 

In the footage, Mathew and four of his friends can be seen with a ladder putting two of his election posters up on a lamppost outside a pub in Santry. 

The person filming can be heard shouting: “Get up the ladder and take it down before I take it down. And you won’t get it back.”

Another person can be heard shouting: “What the fuck are yous doing here. Fuck off back to where yous came from”.

After Mathew and his friends agree to take the posters down, the person filming retreats to the nearby pub and can be heard saying: “And that’s how it’s done people, ran off the site. Ran off the site, we’re not having any of that shite here.”

Mathew, who is originally from India but has lived in Dublin for 18 years, told The Journal that the incident was unusual and was not representative of the experience he has had so far while running for election. 

He said he is grateful for the huge outpouring of support and concern from people in the locality as well as Fine Gael colleagues and politicians from other parties. 

Mathew, who works with a local health organisation, said the incident isn’t going to impact his campaigning. He wanted to stress that if elected he will be a “full-time, active councillor for the area”.

A Fine Gael spokesperson said:

“Any bid to intimidate and prevent a candidate from standing for a democratic election has to be strongly and utterly condemned.

“This was a clear attempt to intimidate a Fine Gael candidate for standing for the local elections in Artane/Whitehall. What happened in Lorcan Avenue in the constituency was disgusting and shameful.

“It does not represent the northside Dublin community in any fashion.

“Linkwinstar Mattathil Mathew has lived in Kilmore, Dublin for almost two decades where he has raised his family. He will make a fine public representative if elected.”

In recent weeks, a number of election candidates have spoken out about harassment and abuse while canvassing ahead of the elections on 7 June.

Arnold Guo, who is also a Fine Gael candidate in Dublin, spoke to The Journal last week about a recent experience he had when the ladder he was on was kicked and he was harassed for not being Irish

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said threats to political candidates are a worry and concern, particularly threats to candidates from minority backgrounds.

His comments came after a video was posted online showing a group of people being harassed and getting racist abuse shouted at them while out canvassing for Limerick Fianna Fáil candidate Suzzie O’Deniyi.

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