Fine Gael candidate verbally abused in north Dublin downplays incident

‘I hadn’t thought about it until it went on social media and everyone started contacting me,’ says Linkwinstar Mattathil Mathew

A Fine Gael local election candidate in north Dublin has played down an incident over the weekend in which he was verbally abused by a number of men who forced him to take down his posters while canvassing.

Linkwinstar Mattathil Mathew, who is originally from India, was erecting posters with his team near Kilmore on Friday evening when he was approached by four men.

A video shared on social media shows the men telling the Dublin City Council candidate to take down the poster he was erecting, with one of the men heard saying “f*** off back from where you came from ... this is our country”.

Mr Mattathil Mathew, who works in healthcare and has been living in Ireland for 20 years, said on Monday that he had not reported the incident to gardaí and “didn’t take it seriously”.


“I hadn’t thought about it until it went on social media and everyone started contacting me,” he said. “I wasn’t upset.

“Now it is a problem because of the video, as it is on social media. My friends have seen it, they said it was horrible and offered to help me, even opposition candidates.

“I told them I took down the posters and went to a different place. I’m not upset or angry with it. We are all brothers and sisters ... I have no problem, I don’t want to complain.”

Mr Mattathil Mathew who is running as a local candidate for the first time also said the incident would not deter him and he would continue his campaign, promising to “work hard” for his community.

Suggesting the weekend confrontation was an isolated incident, he said: “People are very friendly. I have knocked on around 10,000 doors. Some people are asking different questions, what is my stance on migration, different issues. Nobody is blaming me or angry with me. I am always happy to answer questions.”

It comes following after a number of assaults and abuse have been directed towards local election candidates in recent weeks.

Janet Horner, a Green Party councillor for the north inner city, spoke of how she was hit and threatened while out canvassing and hanging posters.

Tania Doyle, who currently sits on Fingal County Council, said she feared for her life after she and her husband were violently attacked while they were out erecting local election posters in west Dublin earlier this month.

Suzzie O’Deniyi, a candidate for Fianna Fáil in the Limerick City North area, were in the city, when four members of her team were confronted by a man who verbally abused them.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times