A Crettyard councillor caught in the act of removing Labour candidate Grainne Corcoran’s poster, says he did so because his was taken down first.
Cllr Ben Brennan yesterday defended removing Ms Corcoran’s election poster at Money Cross near Ratheniska last Tuesday May 13.
“I saw (my) signs had been interfered with. I erect two signs back to back. In this case one of the signs had been ripped down and the other was covered with a poster belonging to Grainne Corcoran (also a candidate in the Port Graiguecullen area).
Naturally I was furious. I cut the poster down and was going to bring it over to her to let her know what was happening,” said Cllr Brennan.
He was spotted by Grainne Corcoran and Senator John Whelan and a “heated debate” followed between the men.
“I got annoyed to think anyone would accuse me of doing something underhanded. I was legitimately taking down a poster which had covered one of mine. I have no problem going up against any candidate but I do object to people trying to do something behind my back,” Cllr Brennan said, adding that 42 of his 500 posters have “mysteriously disappeared” in what “smells of a dirty tricks campaign”.
The independent cllr is a member of the Technical Group in the council along with Labour Cllr Lisa Delaney
Senator Whelan says Cllr Brennan is using “intimidation and bully-boy tactics” against “the only woman candidate in this area”.
“For anyone to take a poster is bad form, but for an elected councillor to do so is totally unacceptable. Now, to add insult to injury, instead of apologising, Ben Brennan because he was caught red-handed, comes up with a lame excuse,” Sen Whelan said.
He says no-one touched Cllr Brennan’s signs.
“I personally erected Grainne’s posters in the area. In fact some of his had blown loose days earlier and we actually called him to let him know. He should know better to stop digging when you are in a hole. When I asked him to return Grainne’s poster he replied: “It’s dog eat dog now, you know.” And now he has the neck to say he was annoyed, as if he was the injured party. I would remind the people of our community they will get the councillors they vote for on Friday,” he said.
First time candidate Grainne Corcoran says she was ‘numb’ after the event.
“It was disgraceful. It is very unfair. I didn’t think a politician would stoop so low,” she said.