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Galway City councillor investigated over Traveller comments


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City councillor investigated over Traveller comments Galway City councillor investigated over Traveller comments

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – An independent investigation is underway into controversial comments made by a former city mayor about Travellers, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

The probe, led by barrister Ruth Mylotte, was commissioned by Galway City Council to examine derogatory remarks by Councillor Michael Crowe (FF) about housing Travellers last September.

This is the third inquiry into the controversy.

It follows on from an internal investigation – led by the Council’s former Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath – which came on foot of several official complaints by members of the public, who took offence to the comments.

As reported in this newspaper last month, Fianna Fáil has already suspended Cllr Crowe and removed the party whip from him for eight weeks.

That was a disciplinary measure arising from the party’s own internal probing of the incident by its Rules and Procedures committee.

The controversy relates to statements Cllr Crowe circulated to supporters on WhatsApp last September, and subsequently discussed on Galway Bay fm, in which he said it was “inappropriate” to place Travellers into a house purchased by the Council in Renmore for Traveller-specific accommodation.

Cllr Crowe said Traveller culture was “not conducive” to “living in with most settled cultures”; and mixing Travellers and settled people “regularly leads to confrontation and general uneasiness”.

Stating the proposal to buy the house for Travellers was “unwelcome by the majority of local residents”, the Galway City East representative included the phone number for supporters to text in to the radio programme.

Three days later he withdrew the comments and apologised on Twitter.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the July 14 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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