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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 24 October, 2019

Defence Forces and Martin play down Ned O'Keeffe's 'army coup' comments

The outgoing Cork TD had said an army coup in Ireland was “real possibility”. His son has said he is “shocked” by the comments.

Micheál Martin and Ned O'Keeffe in 2009
Micheál Martin and Ned O'Keeffe in 2009
Image: Fianna Fail

Updated 3.35pm

THE IRISH DEFENCE FORCES and Micheál Martin have played down suggestions by outgoing TD Ned O’Keeffe that there is a possibility of a military coup in Ireland.

O’Keeffe, a Fianna Fail TD for Cork East, caused a storm yesterday when he told the Cork Evening Echo that he thought an army coup was a “real possibility” because of the country’s economic problems.

The retiring TD, whose son Kevin is running to fill his seat, later told that he stood by the comments.

The former junior minister maintained that position today according to the Cork Evening Echo which also carries a statement from the Irish Defence Forces in which a spokesperson said:

The Defence Forces serve the State every day of every year and we don’t involve ourselves in political matters.

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin also denied that the army could takeover whilst on the campaign trail in Longford. He said:

Absolutely not. I don’t know what’s happening in Kilworth [a village in Cork] but I don’t see any challenges in any shape or form.

We have a great democracy in this country and this campaign bears that out.

The Fianna Fail candidate for Cork East, Kevin O’Keeffe, would not return calls from for comment on his father’s views.

However he told the Cork Independent that he was shocked by the comments but that his father was his own man:

I’m canvassing now and have no idea what he said.

I’ll leave him to his own. I’m shocked. He can shoot away.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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