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Councillor denies he is against Travellers

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Cllr Kieran Dennison

Cllr Kieran Dennison

Cllr Kieran Dennison

A COUNCILLOR has denied he is anti-Traveller after some of his colleagues claimed he made racist comments during a discussion on the National Traveller Partnership.

Fine Gael's Kieran Dennison (inset) claimed an official in Fingal Council's Traveller Housing Section had petrol poured over him last year, and clubs in Clonsilla have also had problems.

"Children's football gear has been stolen. We've had people go through two prefabs to haul out a copper boiler and glass deliberately put on pitches where things were stolen", he told a recent council meeting.

Councillors were debating a motion tabled by Barry Martin (PBP) that called on Fingal Council to write to Environment Minister Alan Kelly stating its unambiguous support for the existing Traveller infrastructure at local and national level.

Paul Donnelly (SF) said Mr Dennison's comments were "absolutely outrageous".

Matthew Waine (SP) said Mr Dennison should withdraw his comments. "What he's tried to do is to take a positive motion and turn it into a political football which amounts to racism," he said. "He's trying to tar and feather bad apples which have emerged in one section of society and say they're all like that. That's prejudiced if not racist."

Mr Dennison withdrew his remarks, saying he was not anti-Traveller.

hnews@herald.ie


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