Former presidential hopeful Peter Casey at Cabragh Bridge, Thurles, Co Tipperary on October 18, during his campaign
The Traveller families at Cabragh Bridge in Thurles, Co Tipperary have released the following statement:
“Different elements of the media are now asking us for our opinion about what seems to be a big support for Peter Casey in the presidential election.
Our family has already gone through hell because of the hatred directed against us in all of this. And we have had to learn very quickly that the media were happy to play a very big part in it all.
Nobody seemed to want to know the truth because it was getting in the way of a good sensational media story.
It was a good story that we were demanding houses so that was what was printed – even though we never even asked for houses in the first place.
It was a good story that we demanded stables built and acres for each family, so that was what was printed – even though we have never even asked for this.
At no time did the media question the [Tipperary] County Council here about the real story and how they used us and whipped up public opposition so they could go back on their original agreement.
Only a couple of journalists even wanted to know the full story and even they had a problem getting the truth printed.
We have suffered from all these lies and hatred and our children have suffered.
We have never got a fair hearing and, when people are asking us now what we think about the election, we are talking only to journalists and interviewers that we can trust.
Are we surprised at the big amount of support for Casey?
No. We are not.
Casey was able to pick the worst of people in Irish society and set them up against each other. When you get the settled people to put the blame on the Travellers for everything, then nobody needs to question who is really responsible for the terrible conditions the government has people living in.
A lot of settled people saw through these lies, and we would like to thank them for their support in our dignified protest when Mr Casey decided to ‘visit’ us.
Casey probably now feels he has got somewhere through using us and and all the Traveller community in a hate campaign.
So we know he will keep going and there will be probably a lot more Caseys coming out when they see this works.
We have learned a lot from this very big ordeal we were put through.
We are asking the media now to learn from it as well.
Please check out the facts before you use people in this way – no matter how popular it might be to run down Travellers.”
Via Eileen Ní Fhloinn
Pic: Ben Sweeney
Previously: Countering Casey