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Taoiseach defended after Labour's leaflet attack... by Fianna Fáil

A Fianna Fáil senator comes out in defence of Enda Kenny after his inclusion in a Labour ‘get out the vote’ leaflet.

An excerpt from the leaflet distributed by Labour to homes in Meath East today.
An excerpt from the leaflet distributed by Labour to homes in Meath East today.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has received defence from unusual quarters after a Labour election leaflet appeared to implicitly compare him to Bertie Ahern.

A ‘get out the vote’ leaflet distributed by Labour ahead of today’s by-election in Meath East – pictured below – included photographs of Kenny alongside Ahern, Gerry Adams and FG deputy leader James Reilly, with captions welcoming a by-election victory for the candidates of their respective parties.

In a caption where Kenny asks Phil Hogan what may happen in the event of a victory for Labour’s Eoin Holmes, however, Hogan says: “More power for Labour,” to Kenny’s dismay.

In the Seanad this morning, Fianna Fáil senator Diarmuid Wilson said the move was unfair of Labour.

“I rise this morning to defend the Taoiseach of our country,” Wilson said to a momentarily shocked chamber.

Wilson said he had been “disappointed to read” coverage of the leaflet in the papers (the leaflet was picked up by the Irish Independent) that “one of our coalition partners have chosen to personally attack the Taoiseach”.

“While most of us on this side of the House would disagree on most of the decisions that the Government have taken, the Taoiseach is merely the chairman of the cabinet, and that cabinet consists of Labour and Fine Gael ministers.

“They are responsible, as much as Fine Gael, for any decision that the government takes,” Wilson said.

I’m disappointed that the Labour Party have chosen to personally attack the Taoiseach, who’s chairman of the cabinet, in order to prevent themselves ending up fourth in the Meath East by-election.

Labour senator Aideen Hayden dismissed Wilson’s claims.

“Can I just reassure Senator Wilson – who I know is very concerned about the future of this government, that there is absolutely no discordant notes between the partners involved in this particular coalition,” she claimed.

“Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t, as they say.”

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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