Fine Gael’s former candidate, Verona Murphy, claimed she was “silenced” by the party and had to adhere to a media ban imposed on her.
She was “very upset” when instructed not to appear in a television debate prior to the by-election in which she was fighting for a seat for Fine Gael in Wexford.
During the campaign, Ms. Murphy said various things that led to controversy.
She told the Irish Times during an advertising campaign that Isis is a “large part” of the Irish migrant population.
Ms. Murphy also said that some very young children may have been radicalized by Isis.
“We have to understand, no matter how we feel, the real people come from very bad situations, war-torn countries. Nobody wants to live like this. “
“We also have to take into account that Isis manipulated children as young as three or four years old.”
Ms. Murphy said on Thursday on her local South East Radio that she was a very resilient person. “I’ll get up, I’ll turn the page.”
After a party meeting on Tuesday, Fine Gael announced that Ms. Murphy was voted out as a candidate for the general election,
When asked if she would run as an independent candidate in the general election, she said she would take some time to think and make a decision in mid-January.
“I’ll think about it, I can’t ignore what people said, but I won’t let anyone down.”
Ms. Murphy also said that she had received legal advice on comments about her and her family. “Problems with my partner’s tax affairs were raised and there were claims that I was a bully. I had legal advice, there were so many falsehoods in the media.”
She was not a “sour or bitter” person, she added. The only person from the Fine Gael Party who contacted her personally was Simon Coveney, whom she greatly appreciated.
“You may have denied me, but I made wonderful friends (at 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 there for themselves. “
Ms. Murphy also defended her comments about migrants, which she said were misquoted. “You left out the part where I said there is a possibility” that Isis is a big part of the migrant population.
“People who know me know that I am not the person that is reported in the media. I have been President of the Irish Road Haulage Association for five years. Everyone has heard that I am talking about migrants. “
Ms. Murphy said she had attended numerous briefings in Europe, such as Interpol, and visited the jungle in Calais. “I don’t think anyone in Dáil Éireann has as much experience with this as I do.
“I raised a security issue. We have to protect ourselves. “
It was not her intention to offend, she said. Her statements had been misrepresented when she raised a security question. She added that she knew of a freight forwarder in Wexford whose followers had been entered by 16 illegal migrants who had fled at the time.
“This freight forwarder suffered badly, his family did not want his father to be arrested.
“It was the security issue that I raised. Do we have to wait for a London Bridge incident on Wexford Bridge?
“Unrestricted migrants are a security problem.”
Ms. Murphy said her apology to migrants during the campaign was sincere. It was also “absolutely wrong” that her comments were part of a campaign strategy to “play the racing card”. “My quotes are misrepresented.”
The campaign was “a huge eye opener” for her and she firmly believed that rural Ireland “beyond the pallor” is ignored. Wexford has no rural TD, she said.
“Rural Ireland is not represented, they did not want me to represent it.”
The support she received from members of Fine Gael in Wexford was “phenomenal,” she said. However, this was a chapter in her life that was just coming to an end. “I close the page and keep going.”
Her family is from Fine Gael and many of them were disappointed with what had happened. “You took it worse than me. The past six weeks have been shocking, but I’m resilient.”
Ms. Murphy said her office would remain open, but she would remove the Fine Gael brand posters.