Fine Gael candidate said planners 'should be shot'

"While I used a poor turn of phrase, I do strongly believe in the need for a greening strategy for our public spaces," said Geoghegan
Fine Gael candidate said planners 'should be shot'

Cllr James Geoghegan did not know he was being recorded at council meeting.

Dublin Bay South election candidate James Geoghegan told a local meeting last week that whoever introduced concreted public spaces in Dublin "should be shot".

The Fine Gael candidate for the upcoming by-election was speaking on a video conference titled 'Reimaging Portabello's public spaces' with a number of Fine Gael members and locals in the area about recent anti-social behaviour along the canal.

During the meeting, which Mr Geoghegan did not know was being recorded, the candidate said that someone else had told him that: "Concrete is all Fianna Fáil's fault," before adding: "But if I made that claim, I'll be accused of serious partisanship, but suffice to say anyone who introduced those concrete spaces, and I've one in Ranelagh as well, I do think they should be shot."

No one on the meeting responded to the remark and Mr Geoghegan quickly said: "So, anyway," before moving on.

When approached by the Irish Examiner, Mr Geoghegan said:

"I had a really successful meeting with residents in Portobello, with a wide range of issues discussed including the issue of open spaces.

While I used a poor turn of phrase that was not meant literally, I do strongly believe in the need for a greening strategy for our public spaces, particularly in Portobello and in Ranelagh. I intend to deliver on that should I be elected to Dáil Éireann.

The meeting also heard from locals who called for more garda patrols in the area as well as traffic calming measures, which Mr Geoghegan said he agreed with.

Mr Geoghegan admitted this week that he carried out polling for Renua founder and former Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton during elections and did not inform the people in "around 50 houses" whom he was working for because "nobody ever asked".

“In the 2016 general election, for Lucinda, I carried out a poll as a volunteer. It proved pretty accurate, she was up against it and I carried it out,” he said at a campaign event in Dublin.
“When it comes to Fine Gael, they’ve been very clear that this was a practice that was carried out in 2016 and it's no longer the practice.”
Mr Geoghegan said “nobody ever asked me personally when I did it: ‘Who are you representing?’ If they had asked, I wouldn’t have misrepresented my position.”

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