BELEAGURED councillor Darren Scully has come out fighting in a bid to salvage his political career in the wake of an assertion that he would no longer represent black Africans.
A member of Kildare County Council and Naas Town Council, he resigned as Naas Mayor before a behind-closed-doors NTC meeting on Wednesday.
In an interview with the Leinster Leader at his Naas home on Friday evening (November 25), he declined to say whether he intends resigning from either or both local authorities. But it now seems he is likely to hold on to both seats in the hope that handing in the chain of office will be seen as sufficient sanction.
He apologised unreservedly for his criticisms as it emerged he could also lose his job.
“Representatives of the African community came out today (Friday) and said that it was time to move on from what I said. I’m heartened by that because I was 100 per cent wrong in what I said and the sentiment behind what I said was wrong and I’m trying to make it better,” an emotional Scully added.
The 38-year-old mechanical engineer could yet face the prospect of expulsion from the Fine Gael party, of which he has been a member for more than half his life.
His fate will be decided at a meeting of the party’s national executive on December 14.
He told the Leader that he had been approached by 15 to 20 black Africans during his time as a councillor and said that while there have been some issues “there have been issues with members of my own community as well.”
Describing the waves of criticism which broke over him after his controversial interview on KFM last Tuesday as “the worst day of my life”, he said he apologised immediately and also realised that he put his colleague councillors in a difficult position.
“I apologise to the councillors also. When I reflected on the experience that happened to me which led to the comments I realised it was wrong to tar a whole section of society with the same brush.”
He added he made a bad judgement call and he hoped people can “find it in their hearts to forgive me”.
While he had received many messages of criticism and a small number of threats, Cllr. Scully said he had been uplifted by the overwhelming messages of support since the storm broke.
In a prepared statement he added: “I have worked in other countries and mixed with many cultures and races and have enjoyed that experience.We live in a multicultural society where everyone’s views and opinions should be respected. I have been a hardworking councillor for the people of Naas over the past seven years, all of the people, and have taken great pride in my role as an elected representative.”