Verona Murphy has signalled that she may run as an Independent candidate in Wexford in the general election after being dropped by Fine Gael.
The failed by-election candidate said on local radio that she was “silenced” following controversial remarks in which she claimed that asylum seekers as young as three may have been “infiltrated” by terrorists Islamic State (IS) and need to be “deprogrammed”.
Speaking to South East Radio, the Irish Road Haulage Association president said politics is a “dirty game”.
When asked if she will run as in Independent candidate in next year’s general election, she said she is going to take some time to reflect and will make a decision in January.
“I’m going to think about it,” she said. “I can’t discount what people have been saying, but I won’t let anyone down.”
Ms Murphy claimed she had to abide by a media ban placed on her by Fine Gael. She said she was “very disturbed” when instructed not to appear on a TV debate prior to last month’s by-election, when she contested a seat for Fine Gael in Wexford.
She again hit out at the media for reporting her remarks after her deselection this week by the party, but on Fine Gael added: “They may have disowned me, but I’ve made wonderful friends [in the party].
I can’t thank them enough. Politics is a dirty game, we ran a clean campaign and worked very hard. Everyone seems to be in it for themselves.
Ms Murphy said her office will remain open, but said she will be taking down the Fine Gael-branded posters.
Earlier this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he decided to drop Ms Murphy as an election candidate as her apology over her comments about migrants “wasn’t sincere”.
Mr Varadkar said he also came to his decision after viewing a video released on behalf of Ms Murphy on the eve of polling, in which it was claimed that she had been the victim of a character assassination by the media.
During last month’s by-election campaign, she told Newstalk: “These people are coming from such wartorn countries that they have to be deprogrammed...
“They carry angst that you wouldn’t ordinarily see, possibly infiltrated by Isis.”
She came second to Fianna Fáil’s Malcolm Byrne in the by-election, with 23.8% of first-preference votes.