Following a heated debate on the Traveller Accommodation Programme in Carlow County Council People Before Profit Cllr Adrienne Wallace has slammed the “dreadful comments” from Fianna Fáil Cllr. Arthur MacDonald. Debate erupted when another Fianna Fáil councillor, Ken Murnane, proposed to remove the rights of the Traveller community to access 10% of social housing stock.
Cllr MacDonald supported the amendment and claimed that crime rises when Travellers gather. Cllr. Wallace called on Cllr. MacDonald to withdraw the remark. She stated it was not grounded in fact rather it revealed his prejudice towards the Traveller community. She referenced the Kinehan crime gang who were all from the settled community and said that “the mask has dropped revealing the ugly face of bias and prejudice towards Carlow natives just because they are from the Traveller community”.
Cllr. Mac Donald later retorted to Cllr. Wallace and told her “to shut her mouth”. The comments were widely condemned. Cllr MacDonald originally refused to apologise before Cllr John Cassin pressed for another apology and he agreed to. Cllr Wallace said the comments reveal “an embedded sexism within Fianna Fáil – numerous councillors entered the debate but I was the only person who was spoken to in such a derogatory manner. That language should not be tolerated in any work place. Fianna Fáil consistently struggle to meet gender quotas and now I’m not surprised as to why”.