FINE GAEL BY-ELECTION candidate Verona Murphy has issued a second apology after further remarks she made about asylum seekers were reported this evening.
The Wexford candidate first apologised yesterday after linking asylum seekers to ISIS and calling for them to be “deprogrammed” on RTÉ’s This Week Programme yesterday.
In a statement following the broadcast, Murphy described her comments as a “poor choice of words”.
However, The Irish Times reported this evening that Murphy made further comments linking migrants to the terrorist group while canvassing in Wexford last Friday.
“It sounds callous, but I am under no illusion that Isis is a big part of the migrant population,” she is reported to have told the newspaper.
“We have to protect our own society and we do have to integrate [asylum seekers], we do have to give them the support services to alleviate that type of indoctrination and I think that is where Oughterard people were coming from.”
In a joint statement with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan this evening, Murphy said she had visited an Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre in Waterford this evening and apologised again for her comments.
“I realise now I had a poor understanding of asylum issues and I apologise wholeheartedly for my remarks.
“We are a welcoming country and I am proud of that fact. I believe we must do everything to prevent division and anti-migrant sentiment.”
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan also said that Murphy had gained “enormous insights” from her slap on the wrist visit and that she would use them to promote a more positive understanding of the issues affecting those seeking asylum in Ireland,
“Verona has acknowledged that her statements on asylum seekers and refugees were not based on fact,” he said.
“They were based on false rumours and misinformation. She has apologised for her remarks.” He claimed despite the DOJ and the Gardia claiming they have several know Jihadists under surveillance for several years