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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Enda: Frank Flannery is still my friend

The former Fine Gael strategist quit the party in controversial circumstances last March.

Enda Kenny and Frank Flannery in happier times.
Enda Kenny and Frank Flannery in happier times.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

ENDA KENNY SAYS he remains friends with Frank Flannery despite the former Fine Gael strategist resigning from the party in controversial circumstances earlier this year.

Flannery quit as Fine Gael’s director of elections in March amid controversy over his role as a consultant with the Rehab Group and has been sharply critical of his former party in recent months.

He said last month that Fine Gael seems “hellbent on self-destruction”. But Kenny said that while he has differences with Flannery he would still have a cup of coffee with him.

“Obviously, you know, I always regard Frank Flannery as a friend of mine, and he still is. You know friends can differ over different things now and again.

“There are always opportunities for people to give off their best,” he told reporters in a pre-Christmas briefing earlier this month.

He added: “So if I meet Frank Flannery in the street of course I will have a chat with him and a cup of coffee. Why wouldn’t I?”

Kenny also pointed out that the party had changed its electoral strategy in the wake of Flannery’s departure which came before the local and European elections last May. Last summer, Flannery described Fine Gael’s local election campaign as “one of the worst I ever saw”.

Kenny’s new strategy involves the Fine Gael parliamentary party and the executive council and is being headed up by the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

“So we are getting on with all of that and obviously election preparation will begin in 2015 for the election in 2016,” Kenny added.

Enda: I don’t live in a world where people only tell you nice things

Read: Frank Flannery is doing a weekly political podcast with Bill O’Herlihy

Read: Who is Frank Flannery and why is everyone talking about him?

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Hugh O'Connell

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