Former councillor claims Labour Party activist convicted of sexually assaulting a child was at Tipperary count centres in 2019 and 2020

A Labour Party activist convicted in 2012 of sexually assaulting a child was present at two Tipperary election counts in 2019 and 2020, according to a former local councillor.

During the 25 May 2019 local election count, the councillor alleges he complained about the convict’s presence to an on-duty garda at the count centre.

Access to the count centre was strictly ticket-only. A 2020 notice on the Tipperary Returning Officer’s website reads that admittance was by “printed ticket… under the supervision of An Garda Síochána”.

“Priority is given to the count staff, the candidates, media and tally personnel. There will be no admission to the count centre without a ticket – no exceptions,” according to the notice signed by returning officer James Seymour.

Both the Labour Party and Alan Kelly declined to comment when asked how this Labour Party activist allegedly gained access to the 2019 and 2020 election counts.

Yesterday The Ditch reported that a 2019 photo posted from Alan Kelly’s Twitter account showed the man in attendance at a Labour selection convention and that both the party and the former leader had known about his sexual assault conviction since 2015.

Another photograph, reported by The Ditch yesterday, showing the sex offender seated beside Kelly and then party leader Joan Burton was taken four months after the man first appeared in court charged with kissing and groping a child.

The convicted sex offender has 16 Facebook friends, with a number of the Labour Party hierarchy among them. When contacted by The Ditch, one denied knowledge of the man, while another declined to comment.

Kelly announced his resignation as leader of the party last night during a hastily convened press conference. Neither Kelly nor his party chose to comment.

G. Thompson

G. Thompson