A former Drogheda councillor and Mayor has been criticised for supporting the controversial Scientology religion.
Frank Godfrey, a local activist who lost his seat in the last election, appears in a promotional video praising the organisations anti-drugs stance. Campaigners criticised Mr Godfrey for supporting the movement, claiming their anti-drugs campaign was targeting the most vulnerable in society.
However, defending his appearance in an online video for Scientology, Mr Godfrey said: 'I support any group that promotes an anti-drugs message. I don't know a lot about Scientology but people who are out there fighting drugs, I am in support of them no matter who they are.
'We have a major problem here in Drogheda and County Louth and in the past I have been very active on the ground trying to get rid of this scourge. I am not a Scientology supporter, I never was and I never will be.'
He said the organisation was doing something positive in the fight against drugs and added the religion was supported by many of the major players in Hollywood. In the video footage, Mr Godfrey appears in front of an Irish flag and comments: 'Governments can talk but the Church of Scientology is out there, foot soldiers of the world, and they're saying to the young people of the world: 'Say no to drugs'.
Anti-drugs group Europe Against Drugs (EURAD) said the church was using the campaign to gain support and new members.