Fine Gael town councillor Darren Scully resigned as mayor of Naas last night and apologised “unreservedly” for saying he would no longer represent “black Africans”, writes Lisa Deeney.
The former general election candidate said his remarks had “caused deep hurt and offence in all communities and all sectors of society”.
The statement as full is as follows: “I wish to apologise unreservedly for my remarks on 4FM and KFM. I realise they have caused deep hurt and offence in all communities and in all sectors of society. I realise now that my remarks were open to an interpretation that I did not intend. I abhor racism in all its forms. I have been proud to be Mayor of Naas and to represent all the people of the town. However, as a result of the upset that I have caused, I feel it is appropriate that I step down from this position.”
He did not attend a special Naas Town Council meeting last night. In a statement the council expressed surprise and disappointment and said councillors had a “duty to represent” constituents “irrespective of country of origin”.
“Throughout his time on the council, we have always found Darren Scully to be a hard-working public representative,” said Deputy Mayor Willie Callaghan. “Never the less we, the members of Naas Town Council were surprised and disappointed by Cllr Scully’s comments that he will no longer represent black people of “black activism origin”. As public representatives we have a duty to represent our constituents, irrespective of country of origin, to the best of our ability. Cllr Scully’s’ comments in no way reflect the views of Naas Town Council or the community of Naas.”
It is understood Cllr Scully is under pressure today to resign from the Fine Gael party and to resign his town council and county council seats.
The Mayor of Kildare and a Kildare North TD, both Fine Gael, distanced themselves from their party colleague last night.
“I wish to disassociate myself and the other elected members of Kildare County Council from the personal views expressed by Cllr Darren Scully, Mayor of Naas and member of Kildare County Council,” said Cllr Micheal ‘Spike’ Nolan. “Kildare County Council is committed to serving the needs of all sections of our community on a totally impartial basis as reflected in the council’s policies and practices.”
Deputy Anthony Lawlor TD agreed: “I strongly disagree with the personal comments made by Cllr Scully. I believe that public representatives are elected to serve all the people. Since becoming a TD I’ve operated an open door policy for all my constituents in Kildare North and will continue to do so,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Paddy Power predicts a swift exit for, as they described, the “racist naasist”. Following Fine Gael’s statement distancing the party from the councillor’s remarks, Paddy Power pushed his chances of survival from even-money out to 2/1. “Well what would you expect from a Lilywhite?!” controversially observed Paddy Power.
For more in-depth coverage see next week’s Leinster Leader, out on Tuesday, November 29.