Local Traveller relieved by Casey’s failure to reach Áras

by Sylvia Pownall
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A Fingal Traveller has spoken of her relief after presidential candidate Peter Casey failed in his bid for Aras an Uachtarain.

Kathleen Lawrence, from Swords, said the feeling among her family had been one of fear after support for Casey surged in the wake of his comments on Travellers.

Ms Lawrence, who works at Pavee Point, said: “I can’t speak for all Travellers, but amongst my own family there was a lot of fear around what would happen if he got in. A good portion of his votes came from his Traveller comments. I know he’s trying to convince people that isn’t the case, but he’s really trying to kid himself.”

Mr Casey says he will now run for the Dail but his expression of interest in Fianna Fail fell on deaf ears.

He drew harsh criticism from current Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over his remarks that Travellers should not be recognised as an ethnic minority.

Ms Lawrence, who is studying for her Masters degree at DCU, said: “I think now we need to look at the fact that 20 per cent bought into his message.

“People are drained, working full time and barely scraping by and that’s awful, but the fact Peter Casey used an ethnic minority to make up the blame, that is disturbing.”

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