Press Release: Sinn Fein Resignation

Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre
Press Statement

May 22nd , 2014


Sinn Fein Resignation for anti Traveller comment is  ‘Action instead of an empty promise’


Pavee Point today welcomes the resignation of Clare County Council election candidate Cathal O Reilly from the Sinn Fein party following his admission that he had made anti-Traveller remarks on Facebook in 2011.

As far as we are aware, this is the first time that an election candidate has stepped down following racist and hate speech. In the past number of months, several candidates for election from the Fine Gael party have also expressed hate speech and racism against the Traveller community. No action has been taken by Fine Gael despite a widespread social media campaign and complaints to the party. We commend the Sinn Fein party for their fast and effective response to racism.

The European Network Against Racism Ireland have campaigned tirelessly to take racism out of politics in Ireland with their electoral protocol. Sinn Fein, having signed the protocol, followed up on their promise with action instead of an empty promise.

Note for Editors: The comment made by Mr O Reilly on Facebook, dated October 19th 2011, appears to have been in relation to the Dale Farm evictions in the United Kingdom. On that day, 100 riot police entered Dale farm and tasered two residents, forcibly removing others. The action was seen by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) as a breach of the right to housing.

Screenshot taken by Pavee Point on 21.5.14, before the removal of the post:#