Tag Archives: Fianna Fail

Fianna Fail TD Jim O’Callaghan

This morning

on Newstalk, Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan discussed the possibility of the country moving to Level 5 with host Pat Kenny…

“First of all it [the recommendation to move to Level 5] is advice. It’s on a decision by NPHET and any decision made in respect of this shall be made by Government.

However, I’m concerned that the manner by which we’re doing business at present, it’s not a good idea for the people of Ireland to hear, late on a Sunday evening, a leak from NPHET indicating that there’s a recommendation that the country’s going to go to Level 5, that we shouldn’t be doing business that way.

“NPHET’s job is to advise the Minister for Health. It’s job is to coordinate the health sector response to Covid. But it’s not an independent entity and it’s a group that advises the minister and it’s Government and politicians that will make decisions as to whether or not this country moves to a different level.

“Obviously the advice given by NPHET should be considered by Government and I know that the three leaders of the parties in Government are meeting NPHET today but I would be asking them what’s the reason for the inconsistency in the NPHET’s approach?

“They met last Thursday, there was no recommendation in respect of this. I’m also concerned that if Government are to go to Level 5, it would be completely disproportionate at this stage.

That we’ve to look to see where we are in terms of this pandemic. And I know what [Infectious disease expert] Porfessor Sam McConkey says, you know, we have to look ahead but in terms of assessing a pandemic, the primary way to do it, is you assess it by a number of steps and you assess it by a number of hospitalisations.

“To date, 1,810 people in the country have died of or with Covid and only 47 of them have been recorded as dying since the first of August so the terrible time for this country in terms of our failing in respect of Covid was the nursing home fiasco that happened in March, April and May when significant numbers of people died.

“The numbers are much lower now in terms of death.

“When you look at hospitalisations, Pat, back in mid-April, there were 881 people in hospital in this country who tested positive for Covid and on a particular day, the 15th of April, there were 155 people in intensive care. Today, there are 134 people in hospital and 21 in intensive care, so we’re nowhere near where we were in mid-April.

“If we go to Level 5 now, where do we go after that?

“Like the reality is, we had the lockdown, it reduces the numbers, we can’t eliminate this virus, and if people tell you ‘we’re going to get it to zero, we’re going to eliminate it from Ireland in the same way that St Patrick got rid of the snakes, they’re fooling you and they’re fooling the public.”


Earlier: What’s Going On?

This morning.

On RTÉ’Radio One’s Today with Claire Byrne.

Further to scenes of students in Galway not social distancing….

Ms Byrne had this exchange with Fianna Fáil Senator Ollie Crowe (above).

Claire Byrne: “You have said today that it’s time to start thinking about putting the army boots on the street to sort this out.”

Ollie Crowe: “Well, Claire, you know I’m from the inner city myself and what I would say at this stage is that you know the gardai are under enormous pressure, they’ve a very challenging job on their hands in Galway. And particularly, you know, in the last, as you’re well aware, it’s Fresher’s Week here in Galway and there’s huge challenges in Galway and other cities.

And I think it’s appropriate for Government, you know, to examine how we can allocate additional resources to the gardai. As an army town here in Galway, we have the barracks in Renmore and I’ve no doubt that the officers, you know, stationed there, would be willing to pitch in and assist the gardai if that was required.”

Byrne: “It’s a serious move, putting an army on the streets?”

Crowe: “Well, look it, as I said, you know I was in touch with the gardai on Sunday night also, and last night. And look it, what I am calling on and what I will be relating to my colleagues is that they, the gardai supported this juncture, you know, they really, really, are under-resourced in Galway with Fresher’s Week and with students coming back…”


Earlier: Looking Fresh



Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan

This morning.

RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Claire Byrne

The Dublin Bay South TD said that ratings in an opinion poll last weekend were “disappointing”, and that the party needs to “protect and emphasise its identity”.

He said “for the interest of Ireland” the Fianna Fáil party “has to survive“.

We are centre ground, centre left national party, that wants to reunify the country, build public housing, reward hard work, protect the vulnerable, the Irish language and save our environment.”

He said if the party does not survive, Ireland will have a political system similar to that of the US, the UK and Northern Ireland….


Now not the time for change in Fianna Fáil leadership – O’Callaghan (RTÉ)


 Top: Micheál Martin and Barry Cowen at Leinster House in 2016; The Taoiseach announces Mr Cowen’s removal this evening


Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen tweeted the following, after it emerged that his party leader Taoiseach Micheál Martin had sacked him from his role as the Minister for Agriculture:

“The Taoiseach informed me this evening by phone that he was removing me from office as Minister for Agriculture. I am both surprised and disappointed with this decision.

“Previously I furnished the Taoiseach with all the facts about my drink driving conviction and the story that the Sunday Times proposed to publish about my alleged evasion of a Garda check point. In doing so I provided him with confidential details about my interaction with An Garda Siochana.

“I have made my position on these matters known publicly and I have acknowledged my wrong doing for something that occurred 4 years ago.

“I have sought an explanation – not as a government minister but as a citizen – as to how details relating to the incident were leaked to the media. The authorities have agreed to investigate the matter.

“One point warrants emphasis: at no time did I attempt to evade the Gardaí. Had I done so, the charges brought against me would, quite correctly, have been of a different tenor to those with which I was charged.

“I am responsible for the offence with which I was convicted 4 years ago not for an inaccurate Garda entry on Pulse about that event. Ten days ago and this afternoon the Taoiseach believed my failure of 2016 didn’t warrant my removal from office but he now appears to have changed his mind based on a Pulse report I gave him this morning.

“It is important to re-emphasise that report was leaked in contravention of the protections that I and every other citizen is entitled to expect in respect of their interaction with the Gardaí.

“Unfortunately the decision of the Taoiseach to remove me from office, when he supported me this afternoon in the Dail, has undermined and potentially prejudiced my entitlement to fair process.”





Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dáil that Agriculture Minister and Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has been sacked.

Mr Martin told the Dáil:

“This is a very sad day for Barry, for his family and for me. He has been a very committed representative, very diligent and very dedicated. Over the course of the last 10 days he’s been the subject of very significant criticism and condemnation for a road traffic offence that took place in 2016. He has been completely clear and unambiguous regarding his drink-driving offence. He gave a personal statement to this House on July 7 in which he talked about the stupidity of his actions. He accepted what he did was absolutely wrong and he apologised to all members.”


Earlier: ‘I’ve Seen The [Arrest Record]…It’s Not Quite As Portrayed’

Previously: Who Spilled? [Updated]

It Wasn’t Me


Now not a good time?

Maybe later so.

This afternoon.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

Embattled, coffee-chugging Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Barry Cowen arrives for government cabinet meeting alongside chief whip Dara Calleary.

Thomas Byrne legging it across courtyard (out of shot).

Earlier: Cobble Wobble

It Wasn’t Me

Derek Mooney: It’s Not Just Loyalty – It Is Loyality

Previously: No Turning Back


Thomas Byrne, Fianna Fáil TD and Minister of State for European Affairs

This evening.

Amid public silence from his party, Ken McFadden, the Meath Fianna Fáil activist who named his friend Thomas Byrne as the source of the Barry Cowen drink drive leak, has tweeted his thoughts.

Mr McFadden writes:

‘I want to say a HUGE Thank You to all of the hundreds of people who have been in contact with support and to tell me they believe me 100%. I’m still getting through the messages, and they have come from every political party and none.

Today I did a number of media interviews and working on a few more over the weekend, the support has been overwhelming.

I also want to say it was not an easy decision to take to go public on the issue of the leak and who leaked it, I have had praise for being “brave” and others with abuse, I “betrayed” a “friend”.

I remain steadfast the information I put out on Wednesday night was the truth and I can live with the abuse from a certain few and even the two individuals (one from Slane and the one from Duleek ) who are being fed misinformation and worse by a person known to me but no longer a friend,

The more of this abuse I get the more interviews and tweets I will do, so let’s just see.

The allegations I am a man with a grudge who is angry I didn’t get a ministerial driver’s job are not true. I was unhappy I did not get the job having been asked by Thomas Byrne at least three times would I do it.

I was unhappy the way that information was given or in this case not given to me and when I eventually caught up with Thomas I felt the way it was handled by him was very grubby, so I was unhappy YES.

Does that mean I turned into a Looney Tune and decided to lie about a very serious matter like the Cowen leak? NO, it is a ridiculous allegation and it is something Trump would do with anyone telling a truth he didn’t want to hear,

I spent a decade or so trying to help/support and win elections for Thomas Byrne and I walked many a road with him and for him in all sorts of weather and conditions.

We had good elections, we were abused in some , we were welcomed in others, we met the best of people at the doors and out canvassing for with us, it was incredible.

I have made life long friendships out of Fianna Fáil and politics and  I wouldn’t give back a day, so please know I’ve been there through thick and thin.

To suggest I suddenly turned on someone over a job is just an excuse for someone who must look at their own behaviour in recent times and must be honest with themselves, I can’t do that for them.

They literally pulled the ladder up behind them as soon as they got news they were in as a minister and I to this day do not know why, I think a quick ring around the elected councillors in Meath will back up the picture I’m painting here.

I love politics and I love the Fianna Fáil party. I will always support FF and always vote FF no matter what.

Finally, I just want to say I’m sorry my actions on this issue have caused stress and hurt to the people around Thomas Byrne and especially his family who I know very well and who are people I have a huge regard for and are not part of this issue.

I say again the allegations I made on Wednesday are true and I will defend them anywhere.’

Ken McFadden

Mr Byrne has yet to respond.

Earlier: Slow Byrne

Previously: Well Now

Wednesday: Who Spilled?


This morning.

Two days after a Meath Fianna Fáil activist accused his local TD Thomas Byrne (top) of disclosing fellow cabinet member Barry Cowen’s 2016 drink driving conviction to the press…

Alan R writes:

You have to hand it to Fianna Fáil. Thomas Byrne has been trending on Twitter for the past 36 hours and there is a complete mainstream lockdown on the story here. Quite an achievement in media control and bodes well for the party containing more serious cover ups to come….


Yesterday: Well Now

Wednesday: Who Spilled?


From top: Thomas Byrne on The Tonight Show; Tweet from Meath Fianna Fáil member Ken McFadden following the show

Last night.

On The Tonight Show on VMT.

Asked if there’s a witchunt in Fianna Fáil to find the person who revealed Barry Cowen’s drink driving conviction, Thomas Byrne told host Matt Cooper:

I doubt very much that anyone in Fianna Fáil had the information that is described in the newspapers in relation to that.”

Asked if it would have happened at a local level, he said:

“I’m not familiar with what’s going on in Offaly but certainly that is not a concern of mine.”

Watch back here.



Taoiseach Micheál Martin (right) with Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne in government buildings last week

This morning.

Last night: Who Spilled?


The Taoiseach’s office has been forced to apologise to Northern Ireland’s First Minister after just 10 days in office.

The apology came after a government source had “over zealously” briefed a media outlet that the first meeting between Micheál Martin as Taoiseach, First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill was to take place today, despite no meeting being organised

Micheál Martin’s office has to apologise to Arlene Foster for ‘cock-up’ (Irish Examiner)


All in all, a sure-footed start from Fianna Fáil.



Meath Fianna Fáil activist Ken McFadden alleges dirty tricks from Meath Fianna Fáil TD and new Minister of State for European Affairs. Thomas Byrne (top) , who has yet to respond.



Thursday morning update here.


Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen addressed the Dail last night on the issue of his drink driving charge from 2016

This morning.

Via The Offaly Express:

Cllr Eamon Dooley, who was sitting on [Offaly County] council when Barry Cowen was first co-opted to the local authority to replace his brother Brian in 1992, said he had a “fair idea” who informed the Irish Independent about the incident.

He could not confirm that it was a senior member of the Fianna Fail party but said it came “from someone who had a grudge against” the Offaly TD.

I’d say he was Fianna Fail alright but I wouldn’t say he was a TD. I’d say he was never an elected member of anything. That’s only my opinion, for what it’s worth.”

Cllr Dooley expects the controversy to die down, even though “some fellows” keep seeking new ways to maintain it….

“It’ll eventually run out of steam. If every fellow who was appointed held up his hand and said ‘I had two pints and I drove home’, I’d say we’d have very few ministers.”

Fianna Fail member with ‘grudge’ blamed for Barry Cowen leak (Offally Express)

Barry Cowen apologises in Dáil for drink driving incident that was a ‘stupid, stupid mistake’ (Independent.ie)




Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms Martin, who is also Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and the Gaeltacht, said he has shown remorse after making a “serious mistake”.

However, Ms Martin said that the one issue that was not addressed was why Mr Cowen was driving on a provisional licence and she said he may have to reach out to road safety campaigners and explain that himself.

Taoiseach accepts Cowen’s remorse ‘is genuine (RTÉ)