Senator Gerard Craughwell recently made reference in the Seanad to a visit he made to Tipperary Town. In his speech, he said that a number of issues struck him during his visit. Among those was the littered state of part of the Council offices on Rosanna Road. Councillor Michael Fitzgerald later made a comment on social media that suggested that Senator Craughwell "seems to be brain dead". Councillor Fitzgerald also made reference to Senator Craughwell's hearing difficulty.
Senator Craughwell said that "to say I was depressed after leaving the town would be an understatement". He said the the water feature at the headquarters of the County Council was "absolutely disgusting, filthy dirty, debris thrown into it, rubbish thrown into it". He went onto to refer to the Courthouse, "locked up" and "unusable", while people had to travel 60 kilometres to attend court.
Earlier in his speech, Senator Craughwell mentioned that the day in question was International Hearing Day. He stated that he suffers from hearing loss "quite badly". He said it is "the most horrific thing to be suffering" and "a horrible, horrible place to be".
"a horrible, horrible place to be"
Councillor Fitzgerald's social media comment stated "not only has he hearing problems, he seems to be brain dead also".
"Not only has he hearing problems, he seems to be brain dead also"
People responding on social media to Councillor Fitzgerald were critical of his reference to Senator Craughwell's hearing loss, saying that his comment is "disgraceful" and "offensive". One commentator stated that Senator Craughwell "is an honourable man who served his country with distinction and his hearing loss is due to his service". Senator Craughwell was a Corporal, and later a Sergeant with the Irish Army, during some six years of service.
The video of Senator Craughwell's speach to the Seanad can be viewed HERE.