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Ex-Mayor of Cork slams 'cowards' who have 'crossed a line' by defacing election poster outside his home

Cllr. Des Cahill standing outside his home in Ballintemple, Cork, where an election poster on his fence has been destroyed with paint for the second time in recent weeks. Pic: Dan Linehan.

A former Lord Mayor of Cork has hit out at 'cowards' who have twice damaged election posters at his house in recent weeks.

Both incidents occurred in the early hours of the morning and Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill said that the culprits have "crossed a line" in targeting his family home.

Mr Cahill, who served as the Lord Mayor of Cork from 2016 to 2017, put a large poster up outside his home at about 9pm on Wednesday night. By 2.30am this morning, it had been defaced with grey paint.

Separately, several of his posters were set on fire on Wednesday evening, with the fire brigade required to respond to these incidents. Mr Cahill criticised the culprits for 'wasting the time' of first responders who attended the scene on Temple Hill in Cork.

He said gardaí were notified about both incidents and are looking into them. CCTV from nearby businesses is being reviewed in an effort to identify any people or vehicles that may have been involved.

This week was the second time that Mr Cahill's home has been targeted. At the end of April, several of his posters were painted over and a tin of paint was thrown over a poster at this home. This incident took place at about 4am.

The tin of paint was left outside his home and Gardaí reviewed CCTV footage from a nearby pub in a bid to identify the culprit but were unsuccessful in doing so.

He said: "This is the second time that the poster has been obliterated.

"It is a line that should not be crossed. There is always some shenanigans with posters - every candidate has to deal with that - but targeting my home crossed a line."

"This incident happened at 2.30am and the previous one was 4am. They are cowards doing it at night."

Mr Cahill's wife and children were at home during both incidents. He said that his family have been shaken by the incidents.

Mr Cahill said: "It is unsettling. I am in the public eye, I put myself out there so I have no problem engaging with people and speaking for myself but these types of actions, in the early hours of the morning, are cowardly. It is people who have no interest in democracy."

The incident was criticised by a number of Mr Cahill's election rivals - Labour candidate Peter Horgan and Green candidate Lorna Bogue both spoke out on Twitter to criticise the destruction of posters and to offer support.

A number of other local election candidates in Cork city have also reported issues with posters and election materials in recent weeks.

Sinn Féin councillor, Eoghan Jeffers, has spoken out on social media about individuals 'repeatedly' destroying billboards he had placed throughout the south side of the city, while campaigner Noreen Murphy said she was targeted at her home, too, with manure and farm waste dumped on her car.

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