Independent TD Kevin 'Boxer' Moran has said he will consider taking legal action against recent social media attacks directed against his family after this evening conceding defeat in his attempts to return to Dáil Éireann.
Outgoing Independent TD Kevin 'Boxer' Moran has said he is considering taking legal action against recent attacks on his family on social media after this evening conceding defeat in his attempts to hold onto his Dáil seat.
Mr Moran said he wanted to reflect on what had been a bruising past three weeks which looks set to bring an end to his four year term as a TD and government minister.
"I have conceded defeat but I was expecting a miracle," he told the Leader.
"The figures don't stack up and the surge for Sinn Féin right around the country has been notable as it has in Athlone and across Longford and we (Independents) are feeling the brunt of that.
"On reflection and looking back I had a great 25 years in public life, but I also had a great four years (in government) in becoming a minister. A lot of people would have tried for that over the past 25 years and haven't done it yet and on reflection I enjoyed every bit of it. It's been a tough battle over the last three weeks, but we noticed a shift since last Tuesday and we noticed the shift was going towards Sinn Fein."
At times appearing to fight back tears, Mr Moran heaped praise on his constituents across both counties who stuck by him "through thick and thin" but said the drop in his vote in Athlone to Sinn Féin had been particularly hard to swallow.
"What I am a small bit hurt by is the fact I have an office in Athlone and they (voters) voted en bloc for Sinn Féin," he said.
One aspect of the campaign Mr Moran was more irked by was what he termed as a recent volley of unsavoury remarks which had been waged at members of his immediate family online.
"I didn't come out to start crying that I lost through social media, I lost through the surge of Sinn Féin," he said, adding he believed in time people will come to realise the "very good minister" they had given up.
"I will look at it," he said, when asked if he was considering taking legal action.
"I will get my people to have a look at it because some of the stuff came from a constituency office, some of the stuff which went up on social media was deliberately planted on posters around the town. It was not about me, but they blackened my family and that's wrong."