Nenagh councillor Conor Delaney has called on members of a pro-life group to stop their “campaign of harassment” against public representatives. The Fine Gael councillor claimed he was harassed by people handing out leaflets outside St Mary of the Rosary Church in the past two weeks. The leaflet was titled, Will Fine Gael be known as The Abortion Party.
He told the Tipperary Star that when he tackled a man over handing out the leaflets he was told: “F*** off, you Fine Gael b******.”
He said: “There was a delay leaving the church grounds and I saw an elderly man was handing out leaflets. I questioned him and he made his remarks. I had my young son in the car. I phoned the Gardai.”
Cllr Delaney said the leaflets were being handed out in the name of a group calling itself Munster for Life and he called on them to engage constructively in the debate instead of protesting. He didn’t recognise any of the people who were involved in distributing the leaflets.
“This is a very sensitive, emotional and personal issue and I’m getting a bit fed up of having the pro-life groups shoving their beliefs down my throat on a daily basis,” he said.
Cllr Delaney, who described himself as a “regular Mass-goer”, revealed he had stopped attending church in the past two weeks because he was afraid of getting abuse and for fear of being harassed.
“For the record, I’m pro-life, but the way these groups are carrying on is completely ticking me off and turning me against their cause,” he said.
Cllr Delaney confirmed that over the weekend he had received over 20 emails, with the exact same content titled “Let them live – abortion legislation is life-ending, not life-saving” from people living in Sligo, Offaly, Dublin and Tipperary. The same series of emails were sent to all Nenagh town councillors.
“This sort of bullying behaviour is completely unacceptable and the people who are advocating pro-life are not doing themselves or their cause any favours.
“Stop harassing public representatives before you turn them against you altogether,” he said.
The Tipperary Star left a message on the answering machine of the Munster for Life number listed on the leaflet this Tuesday but the message was not returned.
A second group of pro-life supporters have been holding regular silent, peaceful vigils outside Nenagh Civic Offices.