Mayor steps down in row over racism
The mayor of Naas has been forced to resign amid allegations of racism after he warned he would refuse to represent members of the black community.
Fine Gael councillor Darren Scully apologised for stating he found "black Africans" to be aggressive and bad-mannered, saying he realised he had caused deep hurt and offence.
Politicians and anti-racism groups had called for Mr Scully's expulsion, while Labour TD for Dublin Aodhan O'Riordain reported the father of two's remarks to Gardai under the Incitement to Hatred Act.
"I realise now that my remarks were open to an interpretation that I did not intend," said Mr Scully.
"I abhor racism in all its forms.
"I have been proud to be mayor of Naas and to represent all the people of the town. However, as a result of the upset that I have caused, I feel it is appropriate that I step down from this position."
If convicted by Gardai, Mr Scully could face six months to two years in jail or fines ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 euro.
Mr Scully made the controversial remarks to Co Kildare radio station KFMt.
During the interview he said: "I've been met with aggressiveness, I've been met with bad manners and I've also been played the race card. It's been said 'You would help white people but you don't help black people'.
"After a while of this I made a decision that I was not going to take on representations from Africans. I've said that I would be very courteous to them and that I would pass on their query to other public representatives who would take their concerns."