Dallat says he forgives poster attackers

John Dallat MLA.
John Dallat MLA.

SDLP Assembly candidate John Dallat has spoken of the support he’s received after posters with a disparaging remark about him were erected in Greysteel and Ballykelly.

The ‘Journal’, which has chosen not to publish a photo of the poster, made the veteran SDLP man aware on Tuesday posters had been erected along the main roads in Greysteel and Ballykelly. Posters were also put up in Coleraine.

When asked for comment an upset Mr. Dallat - who is standing for the SDLP in East Derry - said: “After 39 years, is that really what people think of me? I have never experienced that style of politics in my life and I’ve been in some hard fought elections. I’m gutted.”

When asked what he’d say to those responsible, he said: “I forgive them. Thank God my political opponents, by and large, have been decent to me. I have fought 13 elections and I don’t recall anything like this in my life.”

Writing on social media on Wednesday, Mr. Dallat “there are an awful lot of good people in this world but I had no idea there are so many”. The Kilrea man said the messages of support from different political parties “mean so much to me and my family at this time”.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said it was a “scurrilous attack on John Dallat” and said he “won’t be intimidated”.

On Twitter, Mr. Eastwood said: “Some people talk about integrity, John lives it. We picked the right candidate!”

Sinn Fein Assembly candidate, Cathal O’hOisin said: “I think that’s unacceptable to make a personal attack in that manner. We’ve all put ourselves forward for the election in the hope people will pick us on our policies and principles and not on scurrilous personalised attacks. It’s well below the belt.”