Dana announces intention to stay in the presidential race
Dana Rosemary Scallon has said she will continue to campaign for the presidency following speculation about her status in the race.
In a statement issued this evening the independent candidate outlined a series of events which had led to rumours of her possible withdrawal.
Ms Scallon said she had received a "malicious" email earlier this week ahead of theRTÉ's Prime Time televised debate.
According to the statement Ms Scallon said the email started with: “HAHAHAHAHAH – The bitch finally gets what she deserves".
Ms Scallon said she would not repeat more details of the email which, she said, threatened the release of “further malicious and untrue allegations and also attempts to implicate me.”
She said a freelance journalist subsequently contacted her claiming he was going to run two stories dealing with an allegation against one of her family members. She declined to name the journalist.
“I felt it best to confront this head on and after legal advice I made my statement in the Prime Time debate. I knew by the tone of the threatening email I had received that the writer was determined to ‘out’ this malicious accusation”, Ms Scallon's statement said.
She said the accusation first surfaced in a family dispute court case 5 years ago and was denied at the time.
“No further action was taken. It now conveniently surfaces again during my presidential campaign. In fact, in an alleged period of over 30 years, there has never been a complaint lodged”, the statement continued.
Ms Scallon said to withdraw from the campaign now “would be to give support to the orchestrated campaign that I believe is being peddled from a specific source”.
Thanking her supporters, Ms Scallon said she was looking forward to the final two weeks of campaigning and a presidential result that will "finally reflect the true will of the people".
In an interview with TV3 this evening, Ms Scallon said the allegations were malicious lies "of a sexual nature regarding a member of my family".
“I know that it is not true. The first time it was ever raised was in a court case in a family dispute. Never before. It was not acted upon at that time”.
"The second time it was raised is now, in the middle of my election campaign, with the obvious desire of trying to destroy my character."
“The fact that no action was taken either by the alleged victim or by the family of the alleged victim to me proves that this is a false and malicious allegation,” she said.
Ms Scallon did not campaign today or yesterday prompting speculation that she was considering pulling out of the race.