O’Toole defends painting over Minister Fitzgerald

by Ian Begley
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LUCAN councillor Liona O’Toole (Ind) has defended photoshopping an image of herself into a picture Minister Frances Fitzgerald posted on Facebook, claiming it was a blatant political statement.
Cllr O’Toole informed The Gazette that she deliberately and publically edited two images that Minister Fitzgerald posted on social media to highlight the hard work that local councillors do in the community.
She said that ministers often claim credit for local projects and initiatives that they have little or no involvement in.
Cllr William Lavelle (FG) posted a status on Facebook recently to criticise “one local politician’s” photo editing techniques.
He wrote: “You’d probably think I’m joking if I reported that one local politician has actually begun stealing photos from another’s FB page (not mine) and photoshopping her face over that of the other politician! But I’m afraid I’m not joking.”
Although Cllr Lavelle did not disclose who the comment was directed at, Cllr O’Toole claimed the post was obviously focused on her.
She said: “I didn’t hide the fact that I edited the pictures by any extent, they were obviously photoshopped – you can even see the white frame around one of the pictures I used.
“The pictures were blatant political statements, which I used to highlight the fact that I have worked very hard for Lucan Hariers and that local councillors are the ones responsible for securing the pool for Lucan.
“I also completely deny stealing Minister Fitzgerald’s pictures. I didn’t steal it off her page – I took it off Lucan Life (community Facebook page). I just saw the fun in it and decided to make a political statement.
“I’m just sick of our Minister for Justice going around claiming credit for things she had little or no involvement in,” she said.
Responding to Cllr O’Toole’s “political statement”, Minister Fitzgerald told The Gazette: “As a TD I have a proven track record of delivering and working for the constituency of Dublin Mid-West.
“I am proud to provide a full time service to those in need of information or support as well as ensuring that local issues feed into my role at national level as a Minister and now Tanaiste.
“I think that all local public representatives should, where possible, be able to work together to ensure the best for the communities we work in. I would prefer to get on with representing my constituents at a local and national level instead of engaging in political point scoring.”

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