Offaly TD to seek legal advice over incident in constituency office

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy says she was led to believe a suicide attempt was taking place

Minister of State Marcella Corcoran Kennedy is seeking legal advice after an incident in her constituency office at the weekend where she says she was led to believe a suicide attempt was taking place.

Ms Corcoran Kennedy held a meeting with the founder of the Irish Democratic Party Ken Smollen and his sister Laura on Friday to discuss the number of families facing eviction in the Offaly area.

The Offaly TD claims Mr Smollen and his sister told her there was a woman downstairs on the verge of suicide.

Ms Corcoran Kennedy contacted emergency services but discovered there was nobody else in the office. She said she returned to find Mr Smollen and his sister laughing about the incident.


The Minister said it was “unacceptable behaviour” from them.

The Minister said she would be seeking legal advice on how to proceed and could not make any further comment until then.

Mr Smollen told The Irish Times he is to make a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission, Fine Gael and the gardaí.

“My sister Laura attended and we tried to speak to her or get through to her what people were experiencing,” he said. “And my sister made the point that there was a constituent not 100 yards from her office that had threatened to take her own life and she panicked and ran downstairs.”

Mr Smollen said he had no intention of speaking about the incident until the Minister of State wrote about it on social media.

He said the meeting was confidential but her posts were an attempt to blacken his name.

Mr Smollen added: “It is a shameful performance by Marcella. A family member of mine took their own life. It is not something I would be joking about.

"We had expected the meeting to be confidential. We had decided we would not speak about it because we did not think anyone would believe what had happened in the office that day and then I received a phone call to say Marcella had written about it on Facebook.

"I have no choice but to make a complaint. I will also be seeking legal advice and will consider whether to report it to an Garda Síochána.

“It is an attempt to blacken my name and I will not stand for it.”