Kilmeaden native at centre of political storm

Waterford native Lorraine Clifford-Lee has found herself at the centre of a national controversy for the past week.The Fianna Fáil Senator from Kilmeaden, who is campaigning for a Dáil seat in the Dublin Fingal by-election on November 29th to fill the seat vacated by the MEP Clare Daly, has said she is “very sorry” for using offensive language in Twitter posts a number of years ago.Among the tweets that have emerged was a post in July 2011 where she wrote: “Just doing up inventory of items in my car when it was stolen by some knacker. I think I’m going to cry.”

Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee made an unsuccessful bid to obtain the Fianna Fáil seat left vacant by the late Cllr Pat Leahy on Waterford County Council.

Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee made an unsuccessful bid to obtain the Fianna Fáil seat left vacant by the late Cllr Pat Leahy on Waterford County Council.


She had also responded to a tweet about fashion with: “I think some pieces are cute but others look like something from a Traveller wedding.”Senator Clifford-Lee, who is a solicitor, met representatives of Pavee Point last week and apologised for the tweets she had posted.Her apology was welcomed by the organisation which urged other politicians to learn from her actions. Speaking following the meeting, Senator Clifford-Lee said she was very sorry for the offence she had caused and said she will be working with members of Pavee Point in the future to help their community.

However, her past controversial tweets didn’t just involve members of the travelling community.
In a tweet in August 2011 she wrote: “The Wright Venue = The Sluts Venue”, in a reference to a popular Dublin nightclub in Swords.Some months later, she tweeted: “Was on Dublin Bus for the first time in about a year yesterday. Forgotten how much fun it is. Black Brazilian dwarf with ginger hair sat beside me.”
She has also posted tweets referring to the Kim Kardashian (”Fat arse Kardashian is in Dublin apparently with her fella.”) and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton who she said she would love to get “s**tfaced” and “force-feed her a few burgers” because she is “too skinny”.

Senator Clifford-Lee told RTÉ News last week: “What happened back then was totally inappropriate and wrong and I’m very sorry for offending people. It was many years before I was engaged in electoral politics and in no way reflects my opinion on minority issues.”Ms Clifford-Lee has been a senator since 2016.
In 2008, while a member of Ballyduff/Kilmeaden Cumann, she made an unsuccessful bid to obtain the Fianna Fáil seat left vacant by the late Cllr Pat Leahy on Waterford County Council.
The seat was ultimately filled by his daughter Elaine.

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