Fine Gael MEP Candidate for Ireland South, Deirdre Clune, has expressed her disgust at the attack on a Fine Gael Councillor who was canvassing on Friday in Clonakilty. Senator Clune said that such attacks have no place in our democracy.
“An attack on an election candidate is an attack on democracy itself. We all have the right to disagree and the right to protest, but the act of physically attacking someone because of their party affiliation belongs to another, darker age in this country.
“Any person has the fundamental right to hold strong political views – just as anyone else has the right to disagree with those views. Peaceful protest and campaigning against policies that one is opposed to are long-held and cherished parts of our democracy. Attacking someone, as Cllr Humphrey Deegan was attacked in Clonakilty is not and will never be acceptable.
“We have a long history of robust political debate in this country, and it is only right and proper that people should be allowed to air opposing views. But candidates who put themselves forward for election have a right to expect that their physical safety should not be threatened.
These elections should be contested over the issues that are so important to all of us.
Physical violence against and intimidation of a political candidate should not and will not be tolerated in our society.”