'I have kept apologising and I will keep apologising' - Clifford-Lee meets with Traveller group

'I have kept apologising and I will keep apologising' - Clifford-Lee meets with Traveller group
Fianna Fáil senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee: “People make mistakes. It’s the recognition of those mistakes and it’s how you act."

Fianna Fáil senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has apologised again for comments she made about Travellers on social media eight years ago.

The comments on Twitter were “totally wrong and inappropriate”, but were made before she entered electoral politics. Her “true” attitude towards Travellers has been reflected in recent years through her support of Travellers in Cabragh Bridge, Tipperary, the Traveller Education and History Bill and the ethnic status of Travellers, she told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

Senator Clifford-Lee said she had spoken to Martin Collins of Pavee Point by telephone and would be meeting him in person to again apologise. “I truly hope that my apology is accepted.”

She said she hoped to engage in constructive discussions with Mr Collins.

“I have kept apologising and I will keep apologising. Those comments do not reflect who I am and what I do. It was something that happened before I was in electoral politics.”

Senator Clifford Lee said she understood the impact and offence that the comments had caused, “for which I am truly sorry".

It was a long time ago. We all evolve as people. I am now a mother. I have educated myself about minority issues.

She said that since she entered electoral politics she has worked hard on minority issues and was very sorry for what she said “back then.”

“People make mistakes. It’s the recognition of those mistakes and it’s how you act. Since I have been a public person I have worked very hard in relation to minority issues.”

Ireland and her constituency were now much more diverse, she added.

This is a very young constituency and it is very important that we put structures in place so that all can integrate.

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