Ex-mayor of Naas town Darren Scully has been suspended from his senior position at an engineering firm after his comments that he would not represent his “black African” constituents.
Last week, as the Irish nation erupted in outrage and an official complaint was lodged with the police, Scully stepped down from his position as mayor of the Kildare town. A number of politicians branded him a “racist” following the comments. His political party, Fine Gael, have yet to decide whether they will expel him as a councilor.
Speaking to the radio station 4fm, Scully claimed that he would not represent “black Africans”. He said they are “quick to play the race card", "rude" and "aggressive".
When asked what he would do if an African person contacted him for representation he said, “Well, I will very politely refer them to another one of my council colleagues as I have taken the decision not to represent them."
After the incident he retracted and apologized.
Labour Party politician Aodhan O’Riordain lodged an official complaint about his comments with the gardai (the police).
The Evening Herald newspaper revealed that Scully has received several death threats over the last week. His wife and two children have also been verbally abused in the street. He has now been suspended from his job.
A source told the Herald, “The comments prompted his employer to suspend him. He's devastated over it. He has lost his job as mayor and now may lose his job as an engineer. He has not been eating or sleeping. It's taken a huge toll on his family and friends."
Having stepped down as mayor of Naas town, Scully reiterated his “sincere apology” and said he wants to "win back the public’s trust".
Scully said, “The comments were totally the wrong thing to say. I retract every single word of it and I am so genuinely sorry.
"I am not a racist. What I said was not what I meant in my heart and soul. I didn't put enough thought into it. Obviously I was expressing my own personal view of dealings I had with regards to council workings with some people but I knew what I said was wrong…cannot, you just cannot paint an entire continent with one brush by saying something like that. You just can't do that.
"I should have said that I would not deal with anybody who is aggressive. We have aggressive Irish. We have aggressive other nationalities. But what I said was that I wouldn't deal with black Africans and that's wrong, you can't say that."