“I Am Truly, Truly Sorry”


This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee spoke to Carole Colman about her controversial tweets from 2011.

Ms Clifford-Lee is running for a TD seat in the Fingal by-election on November 29.

During the interview, Ms Clifford-Lee said:

“What happened back then was totally inappropriate and wrong and I’m very sorry for offending people. It was many years before I was engaged in electoral politics and in no way reflects my opinion on minority issues.

“My true attitude is reflected in what I’ve done and what I have said since I’ve been in a position to influence things. For example, I robustly offended in the media the families at Cabra Bridge last year, in their dispute with Tipperary County Council.

“I supported the Traveller education bill, the granting of ethnic status to Travellers, the family reunification bill which offered extra rights to undocumented migrant families in Ireland.

“And I also supported marriage equality so I’m truly sorry for the offence that I caused. I think sometimes we say things when we don’t understand the impact of the words that we use.

“I’m meeting Martin Collins [of Pavee Point]. I’ve spoken to him on the phone, I am going to reissue that apology to him in person and I truly hope that my apology is accepted.

“It’s from the bottom of my heart and it’s very heartfelt. And I hope to engage in constructive dialogue with Martin and his colleagues.”

Asked how she felt how the matter “unfolded during the middle of her campaign, she said:

“It obviously was unexpected but, you know, as soon as it emerged, I apologised and I’ve kept apologising and I will continue to apologise because that’s all I can do. I am genuinely very, very sorry.

“It doesn’t reflect who I am. It doesn’t reflect the work that I have engaged in and I know that I have caused offence and I am truly sorry for that offence.”

Asked if she accepts that people, particularly in public life, have to be very careful about how they label other people and other groups, she said:

“Absolutely and it’s something that happened far before I was involved in electoral politics. Nevertheless I understand the impact that the words I used has had on people and I understand the offence that I have caused and I am truly, truly sorry for that offence.”

Asked how she disassociates herself from something that was her own words, she said:

“It was a long time ago and I suppose we all evolve as people and I’m, now I’m a mother, I suppose I have educated myself a lot in relation to minority issues in recent years and yu know people make mistakes and it’s the recognition of those mistakes and it’s how you act.

“And since I have been a public person, that was in a private capacity. Since I have been a public person, I have worked very, very hard in relation to minority issues.”

Asked if there any other tweets or anything on other platforms that may yet emerge, she said:

“I don’t know is a straight answer because you know obviously this was a long time ago, before I was engaged in electoral politics and I’m very, very, very sorry for things I might have said back then.”

Asked for her thoughts, in general, on the value and challenges of diversity, she said:

“Ireland is a more diverse country than we have been in the past and particularly this constituency, it’s very, very diverse. And this constituency is a very young constituency and it’s  a rapidly growing constituency and there’s people coming from all over Dublin, all over Ireland and beyond to live in this constituency.

“I think it’s very important that we put the structures there in place in all our communities that we can all integrate, get to know each other and grow as communities.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: Set In Motion

I’ve Been Smeared


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36 thoughts on ““I Am Truly, Truly Sorry”

    1. Verbatim

      LOL, had to listen back to hear if she actually said (read) this, as she certainly knows how to robustly offend!

  1. GiggidyGoo

    Note the use of ‘electoral’ consistently above. She was involved in politics when she wrote those tweets. She was a member of FF. She had electoral aspirations. She was a solicitor at the time.
    Being a member of FF with those aspirations then no doubt other members of FF viewed her tweets. Any of them have a word with her? Any of them ‘like’ the tweets. Anyone of them retweet them?

  2. Captain Pants

    I have let myself, down, i have let the party down, and i have let Chairman Mao down. I resolve to struggle harder and longer until the shining glory of the People’s Revolution warms every grain of rice that fills the people’s belly.

  3. Brother Barnabas

    “It doesn’t reflect who I am.”

    assume she’s talking about that election poster photo of her

      1. garrett

        She won’t win if the electorate judge her on her political career and the fact that she’s FF. I’m met her a few times, all make up no substance.

        1. V

          That’s fifteen hundred 1st preferences right there

          And twice that in down ticket transfers

          Go to RTÉ News Now now
          She’s been on loop all day

          Embedding with the main party voter that she’s not a 60 plus year old failed Minister

      1. Cú Chulainn

        She has the Casey vote, the ‘I’m sorry’ vote and the FF vote. Hard to see how she can lose after this.

  4. Catherine costelloe

    We all have to watch our p’s and q’s a lot more these days. Remember the young soccer player that tweeted “up the RA” and got really bad publicity on it a couple of years ago? It was much ado about nothing.To err is human , to forgive is divine.
    There’s a bit of good in the worst of them; a bit of bad in the best of them.

  5. Dr.Fart

    “that was a long time ago” 2015 isn’t long ago. I had other things to say, but BS would edit/delete it. I don’t know why they do that. There’s not one child who reads feckin broadsheet. not one. they think it’s a family site or something? it’s not, its a bunch of middle aged curmudgeons, right wingers and a doctor talking pony about politics. there are no children here. none.

      1. Dr.Fart

        says the anonymous person who uses someone elses photo. very weird thing to do. very broadsheet commenter thing to do though.

        zinger me hole

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