Roche says political party set up smear campaign


Ms Adi Roche, a candidate in the presidential election, has claimed she was a victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by a political party. However, she has declined to identify the party, adding: "I did not reveal it for the seven weeks [of the campaign] and I am not going to reveal it now.

"It was politically-motivated. That was apparent within 24 hours. What they did was they manipulated people's anger and venom and animosity towards me, or hatred, too, in some cases . . . The people themselves did not see they were being manipulated . . . I am going to write about it at some stage."

Ms Roche, who is director of the Chernobyl Children's Project, was nominated to contest the election by Labour and supported by a cross-party alliance.

Asked in an interview on the RTE Radio programme This Week yesterday if she would fight another election, she said: "I never say never . . . If an opportune moment arises, and if I feel good about it at the time and it feels right like the presidency, sure I would give it another thought."

She added: "I was aghast at how documents were leaked, which would have jeopardised vital information sources for the North and how we almost jeopardised the peace process."