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Scully insists: 'I am not a racist' as he breaks down in radio interview

The former Mayor of Naas was forced to resign earlier this week after remarks he made about immigrant Africans. He said he and his family had been threatened because of the remarks.

Darren Scully with Enda Kenny in 2005.
Darren Scully with Enda Kenny in 2005.
Image: Fran Veale/Photocall Ireland

DARREN SCULLY, WHO was forced to resign as Mayor of Naas this week, broke down in a radio interview this morning as he said he and his family had been threatened following remarks he made about immigrant Africans.

Scully made headlines earlier this week after saying in a number of radio interviews that he would no longer represent immigrants from African countries because he found them “aggressive” and “quick to play the race card”.

He subsequently apologised for his remarks and resigned as Mayor of Naas.

The Fine Gael councillor said this morning he feared he could lose his job and revealed he had not answered his door since Tuesday, saying that had received “some very, very bad things” which had been “threatening to me and my family”.

Speaking on the Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1 he said his comments were “totally the wrong thing to say. I retract every single word of it and I am so genuinely sorry”.

“I am not a racist,” he said during the course of the interview insisting what he said was not what he meant “in my heart and soul”.

Explaining the remarks, Scully said:

I didn’t put enough thought into it Marian. Obviously I was expressing my own personal view of dealings I had with regards to council workings with some people but I knew what I said was wrong.

You cannot, you just cannot paint an entire continent with one brush by saying something like that. You just can’t do that. That’s unforgivable.

‘Hadn’t thought the words out properly’

Scully, who made the original comments in interviews with 4fm and Kfm in Kildare, said that thousands of people had been in touch with him regarding his remarks and there had been a mix of views with people saying “lots of different things”.

He also said:

I should have said that I would not deal with anybody in an aggressive… because we have aggressive Irish… because, you know, we have aggressive other nationalities but I wouldn’t… but what I said was that I wouldn’t deal with black Africans and that’s wrong, you can’t say that.

Scully said that on Tuesday morning he realised he “hadn’t thought the words out properly and correctly and I had caused great offence to a lot of people.”

He went on to say:

What I’ve learned here is that you’ve got to be very careful with the words you use and make sure you express the right opinion.

Scully, who works as an engineer, said he would know the outcome of his job prospects next week but admitted he feared he could lose his job as there was “a lot on the line”.

At the end of the interview he appeared to break down, saying the support he had had was “very uplifting for me” and he thanked everyone for sending emails which said, according to him: “Darren, don’t do anything silly, get on with your life and you have the support of many people”.

Read: Darren Scully resigns as Mayor of Naas >

Read: Scully race remarks ‘an opportunity for education’, says African community leader >

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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