Brendan Smith calls on Dukes to retract comments made about ‘border people’

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has called on former Minister Alan Dukes to retract the comments he made on an RTÉ programme in which he said, “Border people have it in their blood. They are living in communities that have a long history of violence of different kinds. And they will more easily turn to it than anyone else will.”

Deputy Brendan Smith said the comments were outrageous and completely dismissive of the overwhelming majority of decent people in counties Cavan and Monaghan and the wider border region who abhor violence of any kind and stood against it over decades.  

Commenting Deputy Brendan Smith said, “I am, like many others in the Cavan-Monaghan region, outraged by the ill-informed comments made by Mr. Dukes. What he said last night is the very definition of tarring everyone with the same brush. To say that border people turn to violence more easily than anyone else is an atrocious comment to make.

“Those of us living in border communities were also victims of violence throughout the Troubles. Our communities have been victims of intimidation and threatening behaviour from a small minority of criminals.

“I’ve spoken many times of the devastation of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, of those left behind following the Belturbet bombing. I’ve stood with thousands of people along the border as they peacefully protested against violence throughout the Troubles and more recently as they seek answers.”

Deputy Brendan Smith said the fact that Mr. Dukes was a longstanding TD, former Minister, a former Leader of the Opposition as well as a well-respected man throughout this country meant that his comments were all the more incendiary. He called on Mr Dukes to immediately make a full statement retracting his comments.


1/12/2022 @ 10.25 A.M.