'Growing anger' not racism led to high vote for Peter Casey - Leahy
'The growing anger of a risen people' and not racism led to Peter Casey receiving 342,727 votes in last Friday's Presidential Election.
That's according to RENUA Ireland Leader and Offaly County Councillor John Leahy said that the dismissive response of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to Peter Casey is 'indicative of the refusal of the establishment to listen to working and rural people’.
Despite opinion polls showing Peter Casey as low as 2% just a week before the election, he received just under a quarter of votes cast. While he did make controversial comments about the travelling community, Cllr Leahy does not believe this was the reason he garnered such a high vote.
"The attempt to tag Peter Casey and his supporters with the dog-whistle politics of racism is a smear that will back-fire," he commented. "Thirty percent of people in Offaly, Laois and Donegal, for starters, are not racists. Fianna Fail should know that."
Cllr Leahy stated the attacks on Peter Casey were informed by 'snobbery and elitism' and represented a desperate attempt to shout down 'the growing anger of a risen people'.
He continued, "working and rural people voted for Casey as a revolt against double standards where, unlike those on welfare, they never get a Christmas bonus. They voted for Peter Casey because there is one law for travellers and a different law for everyone else. Working and rural people voted for Peter Casey because they pay 11 billion more in tax than a decade ago. By contrast those on welfare secure billions more in increased benefits."
The Renua Leader also believes that what he described as an absence of law and order in rural Ireland led voters to cast their ballots for Casey.
He continued, "rural and working people voted for Casey because this is a country which has become a fiscal penitentiary for its own people where you cannot secure a steady job or even a home. Peter Casey is the source of an inconvenient message to Leo and Micheal. Working and rural people are beginning to revolt against an establishment that cannot even provide us with broadband. These are the people who have turned rural Ireland into a desert and unleashed vulture-banks on family farms.
Cllr Leahy said he believes the issues he listed, and not travellers is why Peter Casey secured more than 23% and he added that if the campaign had lasted another week Mr Casey would have secured 30%.
"Both Leo and FF would be wise to realize those who get up early in the morning have had enough.They are starting to look for alternatives and fancified Twitter sound-bites or shouting them down won’t work any-more’," the Offaly County Councillor concluded.