herald

Monday 20 August 2018

SF dirty tricks behind cruise rumours -- Burke

DUBLIN candidate Christy Burke has rubbished malicious rumours that he spent the first week of the election campaign on a luxury cruise.

The Independent councillor believes that stories of his "mahogany tan" originated from people at a meeting of his former party Sinn Fein.

Mr Burke told the Herald: "I showed up at a women's door one evening in the pouring rain and she said 'you're purple with the cold but I've just been reading about you and they said you're suppose to be mahogany'."

The rumours were published by one national newspaper and on a popular online forum that focuses on Irish politics.

But Mr Burke says that he was up lampposts in his Dublin Central constituency until 2am on the day the election was called. "I was at a city council meeting and an area meeting when I was supposed to be on the cruise as well," he laughed.

Mr Burke said that he understood that the story started at a Sinn Fein function in Dublin but he wasn't overly concerned about why.

"It was just to try and be smart or give me a bit of a kick." Although he says that the rumours are "wrong and untruthful" he "can actually see the funny side of it."

Mr Burke quit Sinn Fein in the aftermath of the 2009 local elections saying that it had lost its relevance for many of his constituents. He is now running against his former colleague Mary Lou McDonald in what will be one of the capital's most fiercely contested constituencies.

"I believe there is a seat for Labour, Fine Gael, an Independent and either Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein," he said.

To be the Independent he will have to topple Maureen O'Sullivan who took her seat in a by-election following Tony Gregory's death.

"I can't recall an election like this. The atmosphere is completely different," he said.

"The people seem to know who they don't want to vote for but they are not yet comfortable with who they do want.

"I do get a lot of people saying 'once you're not a party you have a chance of a vote'."

kdoyle@herald.ie

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