TD ‘happy’ to be target of windfarm protest

A Government TD targeted by a new anti-windfarm campaign attempting to prevent her and other Coalition members from being re-elected has claimed she is “happy” to be receiving the planned negative publicity.
TD ‘happy’ to be target of windfarm protest

Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said she has no problem with being the subject of a “toxic” negative campaign as it will still increase her publicity among potential voters in her area.

On Tuesday, more than 20 anti-windfarm groups scattered across the country launched an umbrella group called Protect Rural Ireland.

Unlike other similar organisations, Protect Rural Ireland is focusing on politics and running a negative campaign to vote out six named Government TDs it says are promoting or supporting windfarms.

Speaking at the launch, group spokesman Henry Fingleton confirmed that Environment Minister Alan Kelly, Communications Minister Alex White, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, Labour backbencher Emmet Stagg and Fine Gael TDs Bernard Durkan and Ms Corcoran Kennedy would all be targeted in negative campaigns to block their re-election.

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly

The group is receiving advice from Paddy Duffy, formerly a long-term media adviser to former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

It plans to begin its campaign on Saturday with negative leafleting against the six TDs, with eight more politicians due to be targeted in similar ways over the coming months.

Ms Corcoran Kennedy told RTÉ radio yesterday that she was not worried about any of the unwanted attention as it will only add to her profile in her constituency.

“If Henry and company want to deliver leaflets with my face on them, I’m delighted because it’d cost me a fortune to deliver leaflets with my face on them to every house,” the Fine Gael TD claimed.

She said she was surprised about being called a “toxic” candidate as she was normally referred to as “a parasitic ice queen” by online critics, and questioned why she would be referred to as being in favour of windfarms by campaign members whom she has yet to meet.

Mr Fingleton said anti-windfarm groups have held a series of meetings in the past year which the Fine Gael TD has failed to attend.

Ms Corcoran Kennedy said this was due to scheduling reasons and that if protesters want to speak with her they need to organise events when she is not in the Dáil.

A number of the other TDs targeted by the campaign had yet to respond at the time of going to press.

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