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Travelling community challenge Peter Casey on Presidential campaign comments

Appearing on last night’s Late Late Show, Casey said that he does not discriminate against people.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

BUSINESSMAN PETER CASEY has faced questions from the Travelling community over comments he made during the recent Presidential campaign.  

Appearing on last night’s Late Late Show, the runner-up in the Presidential election was challenged by several members of the Travelling community.

Asked why he thought it was acceptable to “victimise Travellers further”, Casey defended himself. 

“I was not victimising anyone. I’m all about inclusion. We need more inclusion. By marginalising a community, it’s wrong.”

During the Presidential campaign, Casey said that Travellers should not be recognised as an ethnic minority because they are “basically people camping in someone else’s land”, and that Travellers are “not paying their fair share of taxes in society”.

Last night, Casey doubled down on his position that no group should be treated differently.

Challenged on how he formed his opinions, the Donegal businessman again said that he does not discriminate against people.

I’ve never discriminated in my life against anyone.

Casey agreed to meet representatives of the Travelling community at Pavee Point, which advocates on behalf of Travellers. 

On last night’s show, Casey also rounded upon Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for criticising him during the Presidential campaign, adding that he was serious about his ambitions to become Taoiseach. 

‘Spark a response’

Also appearing on last night’s show on RTÉ, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson said that there is “still not a full equity in how we deal with the Travelling community” in Ireland. 

Comparing Casey’s comments to the rise of populism in the United States and Brazil, Robinson said that occasional instances of “bad behaviour” can tarnish a whole community. 

The trouble with being a small minority, it seems to somehow affect everybody. It becomes a description of the ‘Travelling community’ doing this or that. That can quickly spark a response. 
We’ve done a lot in this country to recognise and value the travelling community and the travelling community have done a lot. 

Asked about possibly meeting Donald Trump, Robinson – who served as President between 1990 and 1997 – said that she likes to speak about the US President “as little as possible…it’s all about him”.

I don’t really particularly want to [meet him].

The former Irish President was appointed as chair of the Elders earlier this week, an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen and human rights advocates. 

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