Fianna Fáil councillor issues apology over comments about Travellers
The Taoiseach has said the councillor's comments were "completely unacceptable".
Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Crowe has apologised for remarks he made earlier in the week regarding Travellers.
On Monday (26 September), the Galway councillor told Galway Bay FM that he was concerned to learn that a Traveller family could be accommodated in a property in Renmore.
"I understand that everybody is entitled to a home and everybody is entitled to be housed," he said.
"But I do not believe that putting members of the Travelling community into the heart of Renmore is conducive to either the occupants of the house themselves or indeed the local community. They're two vastly different cultures.
"Ultimately I don't believe that it's in the best interest of either party for this to proceed."
He added: "In this case, the residents - i.e. the public, Renmore, the people that I represent - do not want this.
"I don't want this. I'm totally against this. I'll do all I can to stop it.
"And I don't believe it should be foisted on any community, particularly without consultation."
In a statement, the Galway Traveller Movement condemned Crowe's comments, accusing him of "promoting anti-Traveller rhetoric and discourse on the public airwaves".
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach Micheál Martin told reporters that Crowe's remarks were "completely unacceptable" and that the party will be meeting with the councillor.
Later in the day, Crowe issued the following statement to his Twitter account:
"I would like to offer a sincere genuine apology to all members of the Travelling Community for my comments earlier this week.
"There is cut and thrust in politics but there is no room for the broad-ranging sweeping generalisations I made about Travellers. For that, I am sorry.
"While there are difficulties in certain scenarios there is a way to deal with those and on this occasion, I did not do so in a correct manner. I would also like to offer an apology to my party for causing hurt to many of our members.
"I’m making no excuses, I’m simply apologising. I was wrong."
I would like to offer a sincere genuine apology to all members of the Travelling Community for my comments earlier this week. There is cut and thrust in politics but there is no room for the broad ranging sweeping generalisations I made about Travellers. For that, I am sorry. 1/3
— MJ Crowe (@mike_mjcrowe) September 29, 2022
Main image via Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie