Social media apology for Town Councillor

Tony Flaherty. Photo: Joe McDonagh.

Tony Flaherty. Photo: Joe McDonagh.

An angry Longford town resident, who took to social media claiming a local town councillor had insulted her, has backed down by issuing an apology thorugh Facebook.

The unnamed individual ,using a Facebook page called ‘Park Road House’, launched a broadside at Cllr Tony Flaherty over the state of Longford Town Council’s Fonderman Housing Development , which was built on the site of the former Fonderman factory.

It’s believed the war of words had initially erupted amid concerns about the estate’s health and safety standards and the absence of back doors in some houses.

In a series of posts which have since been taken down, the long standing councillor is alleged to have told the original complainant: “If them houses went on fire a person in a wheelchair should get out the window.”

The allegation led to a series of posts between supporters of the complainant and the long-standing councillor.

For his part, Cllr Flaherty completely denied making the comment and he eventually decided to issue his own post in response to the allegation on Wednesday evening.

On his own Facebook page, he said his name had been “dragged through the mud” on the popular social networking site.

“She alleged that I made a disparaging remark about a disabled person- needless to say this is completely untrue,” he said.

In a lengthy response which has since attracted more than 50 ‘likes’, Cllr Flaherty said the entire episode had hit him hard.

“It saddens me to think that there is people out there who can be so nasty and spiteful towards a person who is only trying to help them,” he went on to explain.

“What she said about me today on fb (Facebook) has left me shocked and disgusted.

“People who know me know that I have been raising issues around disability for the past 20 years on Longford Town Council- it was the main issue I campaigned on when I first ran for the council in 1994.”

The Leader, over the past number of days, has unsuccessfully attempted to make contact with the user behind ‘Park Road House’.

However late last week, the user issued a public apology through Facebook to Cllr Flaherty.

It read: “I’d like to say sorry to Tony Flaherty about those comments yesterday I put up that weren’t true, sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

Giving his own reaction over the weekend, the Independent town councillor said he accepted the apology and was keen to draw a line under the matter.

He also said he had originally flagged his doubts over the development which was completed in 2009.

“In late 2008, I actually put on record my objections to disabled houses in that site because of the back door issue. But we (council) got a circular back from the Department at the time telling us it did meet European standards.”




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