Former minister of state Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has broken his silence on the “hell” he and his family have suffered due to a malicious campaign of rumours spread against him.
ith the agreement of his wife of almost 30 years, Michelle, Mr Moran said he could no longer stay silent on the mental torment they have endured.
Losing your job just weeks before a pandemic would be tough on anyone, but ‘Boxer’ is in an even more difficult situation because he has no income whatsoever. He can’t claim PUP or the dole and, until his taxi licence is renewed, he is surviving on savings.
He describes the past year since losing out at the last election as “horrible”, but for different reasons.
“I don’t sleep. If people only knew the hell we went through as a family since I lost my seat,” he says.
“People were putting stuff up on social media saying I had affairs, and another recent rumour is I tried to take my own life.
“The latest thing is I’m supposed to have fathered a child.”
Seeking to put the rumours to rest, he said: “I am a one-woman man, and I have always, always been.
“I’ve been with my wife for 36 years. We are married for 27 years. We are together since we were kids.
“Oh, the lies, It is horrific what people think they can say about you and get away with.
“People were actually accusing me of affairs with women who have families of their own.
“My sons were hearing this out on the street and coming home and saying, ‘Daddy is this true?’ My poor wife is an SNA (special needs assistant) and she had to put up with people talking about us.”
Just over a year ago, Mr Moran was a sitting TD for the Longford-Westmeath constituency. He also served as minister of state for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief from 2017 to 2020.
“Myself and herself [Michelle] are the happiest two in Ireland. She went through hell being married to me as a politician. I put 24/7 into the job. I’m not saying I was perfect, but I did everything I could to the best of my ability.
“My wife and kids are my life, and I would do anything, anything for them.
“There was a lot of hurt within the family (when he lost his seat) because they know how hard I worked.
“But that was my nature. I wanted to help people.”
His saving grace has been the time he spent at Portaneena Marina, Athlone, doing up an old boat he bought with the €16,000 lump sum he got at the end of his term in government.
Mr Moran accepts politics is a cruel business, but he says the lies and rumours weigh heavily on him.
“All I can do is keep going, but I said to someone yesterday I am only human. I am not a machine.”
He never reported the defamatory social media posts to gardaí, saying the messages and accounts disappear within minutes of being posted on community groups in his election area of Longford-Westmeath.
Initially before the general election last year, then again after losing his seat, it died down – only to crank up again in recent weeks.
“It has been a horrible year. This started happening again, and a couple of people have said to me to come out and speak about it because I’ve had enough.
“You always have this fear that some people will believe you and others won’t and will then put out more stories about you.
“Michelle and I were talking the other day, and she said if you want to do the interview, do it.
“There are days when I’m here, and I think to myself, ‘what’s it all about?’
“Why are people so malicious and damaging, and why do they try and cause so much hurt?
“The people who are doing this only put things up for a couple of seconds, and they delete them again, and it’s so hard to trace it back.
“It’s such an evil thing to do to someone. People say to me to rise above it and don’t let it get to me. But I’m only human.
“Michelle asks do I get fed up with it, but I have to be strong for her and the family.
“But of course you get fed up with people saying things about you that are not true.”
Mr Moran has spoken openly in the past about his struggles with mental health. Shortly before he took office, he revealed on The Late Late Show he attempted to take his own life following his brother’s tragic death in a motorbike accident.
“I’ll always remember getting a phone call off Leo [Varadkar] that night; he was the incoming taoiseach.
“He said: ‘Boxer, that was a terrific interview, my heart went out to you, but we are all getting it on social media’. He said: ‘Be strong, the next 24 hours, they will probably attack you again.’”
Mr Moran said the rumours affected how he related to people and he now hoped to draw a line under it by speaking out.
“I might know Joe Bloggs, and we are chatting. But when I’m gone, the thing that is ticking in my head is what is being said when I have left.”
Before he was a TD, Mr Moran was a successful businessman and he has been hit hard by the pandemic.
“I can’t earn a crust. I can’t even draw the dole,” he said.
“The two companies I had, the courier business and the taxis, are gone. The small bit I had saved over the years I used to repay the loans on the cars.
“I can’t draw the dole because all the taxis are in my name, even though I have no licence. A newspaper did an article about me being the director of two companies and said I was double-jobbing so because of that I didn’t renew my taxi licence. Then I lost my seat.
“One thing that needs to be highlighted is this notion that all former politicians are all on big money. I have no pension until I’m 67 years of age, and it’s €80 a week.
“I was only a minister for two years, and I got €16,000.
“The one thing Michelle and I said we would always do is buy a boat, and that’s what we did with the €16,000, and I am doing it up from top to bottom for the last year.
“I have no income at all. Not a penny. I worked hard, and I put away a few bob, and I am eating into that money to keep the bread on the table.”
Despite his ordeal, Mr Moran feels he still has a lot to offer in the political world.
“People who know what we have been put through ask me would I ever go back to politics, but I would, at the drop of a hat.
“I love the buzz of politics. I’ve got a few texts off people recently saying my common touch with people is missing with the current Government.”
Source: Irish News