herald

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Racist jailed for abuse of election candidate

A HOUSEHOLDER who racially abused an election candidate when he was canvassed has been jailed for two months.

Michael Walsh (61) was sentenced for telling independent candidate Patrick Maphoso to get off his street and that "black people made him sick".

He had denied this, insisting he only told Mr Maphoso (43) to "f**k off", but this was because he disliked all politicians and he had said the same thing to Bertie Ahern minutes earlier.

Dublin District Court heard he made his remarks at the same time that a neighbour, Michael Lawlor, allegedly threatened to put a bullet in Mr Maphoso's head in the incident in Dublin's north inner city.

Mr Lawlor (28) has since died and the case against him was struck out.

Walsh was convicted of using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour outside his home at North Circular Road on April 28, 2009. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Mr Maphoso, an unsuccessful candidate in the 2009 local elections, said he was canvassing with two colleagues when he noticed two men watching him.

When he got to where they were, he gave Mr Lawlor his card. Walsh told Mr Maphoso: "Get off the road," and then: "black people make me sick".

Mr Lawlor allegedly told him: "If you don't get off the road, you will get a bullet in your head".

He left immediately and reported this to the gardai but there was no record of his initial complaint at the Bridewell Station. He made a statement on a later date.



CONFRONTATION

Walsh said: "Bertie Ahern and Cyprian Brady came 15 minutes before that and they were told to f*** off."

"Fine Gael and Sinn Fein were told the same thing. I have no time for politicians, black, white, yellow or anything. I was in no way racial to that man, he was treated in the same way as any other politician on the street, but this man wouldn't have that. He went out of his way to have a confrontation".

Walsh insisted he was inside his property when he spoke to Mr Maphoso.

The State Solicitor pointed out that he said in his statement: "I have no time for politicians and no time for coloured people".

It was put to the accused that Mr Maphoso was a "coloured person".

"I did notice that," the defendant said. "Leo Varadkar is a coloured man and he is in Dail Eireann."

Judge Coughlan said he was satisfied the incident happened in a public place and that the accused was guilty.

aphelan@herald.ie

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