Election candidate 'upset and shaken' after angry exchange on campaign trail

A local election candidate has said she was left shaken after she was confronted in an angry exchange by two protesters who referred repeatedly to “Labour traitors”.

In a highly-charged and emotional confrontation, Tallaght South Labour candidate Martina Genockey is challenged by a man and woman while campaigning in the area.

At one point in the video, uploaded to the Facebook page of 98FM's Adrian Kennedy and Jeremy Dixon, Ms Genockey tells the protesters: “It’s not right to bully a young woman just trying to make a difference in her own community.”

In the video, the woman says she asked Ms Genockey questions over facebook regarding water charges and property tax, but the comments were deleted and the woman banned.

Ms Genockey confirmed today that the woman was banned from the candidate’s facebook page, but said that action was only after comments became personal, and that the woman’s comments disappeared automatically after she was banned.

The comments were contributed by more than one person.

“The comments (on my facebook page) were about my personal appearance and were misogynistic,” she said today.

“This is different to stopping someone in the street to talk about politics,” Ms Genockey said.

The man filming the exchange captured yesterday refers repeatedly to “Labour traitors”.

When challenged that she should run as an independent rather than for the Labour Party, Ms Genockey answers: “This is a democracy. I want to run for the Labour Party and...I’m entitled to do that.”

There are scuffles too between the candidate’s supporters and the man and woman.

The protesters go on to say “You deserve electoral humiliation” and “you’ll be slaughtered in the elections”.

Saying the exchange yesterday had left her upset and shaken, Ms Genockey said today that she would continue her campaign.

“This is my own area. Of course I’ll keep campaigning,” she said.

Efforts to contact the protesters today have so far not been successful.

By Jill O'Sullivan

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