herald

Monday 18 December 2017

SF councillor to sue former 
mayor over election claim

A newly elected Sinn Féin councillor has launched defamation proceedings against a former Fine Gael Lord Mayor over a blog post which she claims implied that she was racist.

Sinn Féin councillor Natalie Treacy was elected to Fingal County Council for Castleknock ward last May and is set to sue former Lord Mayor and current local councillor Kieran Dennison, over comments he made about her election slogan during the local election campiagn.

In a since deleted post on his personal website, Mr Dennsion referenced Ms Treacy's 'One of Our Own' election slogan.

"In Castleknock ward their [Sinn Féin] candidate Natalie Tracey declares herself as 'one of our own' in what seems an obvious reference to some of the migrant candidates running there," the post said.

At the time, Ms Treacy said that: "It is clear that the slogan is referring to the fact that I am a local resident of the area in which I am seeking to represent in Fingal council. The idea that the 'one of our own' slogan could only be applied to Irish-born candidates is farcical."

She also said that the post was removed from Mr Dennison's website after she sent a legal letter to him.

Ms Treacy has filed a defamation action in the Dublin Circuit Court where the maximum award is €75,000 under the recently raised jurisdiction level.

Both Treacy and Dennison did not reply to a request for comment from the Herald but court records show that Treacy's action names both Dennison and Fine Gael as defendants.

Records also show that he is being defended by Fine Gael's long-term solicitor Kevin O'Higgins.

The only comments Ms Treacy has made in relation to the case was to say: "He refused to take the comments down for almost three weeks until he got a legal letter.

"It's in the hands of my solicitor and he is still refusing to apologise," she told the Sunday Times.

Mr Dennison came to national attention when he led councillors who voted against the plan for a proposed directly elected Mayor of Dublin.

Fingal Council was the only one of the four Dublin councils to vote against the plan.

Natalie Treacy is a first-time councillor and was elected as one of seven councillors for Castleknock with 1,953 votes.

hnews@herald.ie

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