Mary Lou McDonald says 'concerned citizen' has 'some brass neck'

Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has accused the "concerned citizen" who challenged her over the party's tax policies at a media event last Friday as having "some brass neck" after it emerged he is a senior hedge fund manager.

The Dublin Central TD hit out at Fergus Crawford, the CEO of the Irish branch of Swiss investment firm Sarasin during a public strategy meeting by the party in Dublin yesterday.

Mr Crawford had heavily criticised the opposition party over its tax policies and the risk it is posing to jobs in the country over the coming years.

However, responding to the details at the Sinn Féin event in Wynn's Hotel, Ms McDonald said Mr Crawford has "some brass neck" to make the claims.

"When the conversation happened I wasn't aware of who the concerned citizen was and in the manner of these things you take people as you find them and you have the debate.

"The bankers, developers, all of the crew who wrecked this place have now regrouped, and they are now sufficiently emboldened to challenge people like me on the streets of Dublin on the basis of, ironically, our ability to protect ordinary people.

"There's a big irony in that and I know it isn't lost on anyone. The man is of course entitled to his view.

"But I think it took brass neck, pure hard brass neck on the part of somebody associated with ACC bank [who Mr Crawford worked for before joining Sarasin] to come and attempt to claim their concern was for working people," she said.

Note: A previous version of this story said Fergus Crawford was a brother of ex-Fine Gael TD Seymour Crawford. This is not correct.


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