Former FG candidate suggests ‘freezing out’ Apollo House occupants

William Whittle tweeted remarks before building was vacated by homeless activists

Apollo House on Thursday morning. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Apollo House on Thursday morning. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

A former Fine Gael local election candidate has been criticised for suggesting that the residents of Apollo House should have all services cut off and be “frozen out” of the building.

William Whittle, who stood in the Edenderry electoral area of Co Offaly in the 2014 local elections, tweeted: “#apollohouse Cut all services off, freeze them out of it.”

He tweeted it before the occupants of the vacant Dublin office building, a group of homeless people and activists known as Home Sweet Home, agreed to leave Apollo House on Thursday morning.

His tweet drew a critical response from Home Sweet Home on Twitter: “Thank your for your compassion for vulnerable people in #apollohouse looking for suitable shelter and a #homesweethome.”

Mr Whittle responded: “You’re (an) absolute disgrace trespassing on state property”.

Later, after receiving a lot of negative comments, he tweeted: “It’s amazing to see how many faceless people are out there afraid to put their face to their comments, that says it all.”

On his Twitter page, Mr Whittle has a profile photograph of himself with the EU commissioner Phil Hogan. He also has a photograph on his Twitter feed with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Mr Whittle was listed on the official Offaly County Council local election website as living in Bracknagh, Co Kildare and his occupation is listed as fitter/welder.

In the 2014 local election, he received just 336 votes (3.8 per cent of the total poll) and was eliminated.

Mr Whittle could not be contacted for comment.

A Fine Gael spokesman said the party distanced itself from his remarks. “Those views do not represent the views of Fine Gael. Minister Simon Coveney’s top priority continues to be the provision of safe and suitable accommodation for all homeless people,” he said.