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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

“Colm Keaveney would join Hezbollah if he thought it would advance his career” – Rabbitte


Updated 19:57

SENIOR LABOUR MINISTER Pat Rabbitte has said former party colleague Colm Keaveney “would join Hezbollah” if he thought it would advance his career.

Rabbitte made the comments on RTE One this afternoon as he dismissed Keaveney’s move to Fianna Fáil as political opportunism.

Keaveney responded by saying he would “never join a terrorist organisation that killed and maimed to progress a political objective”.

Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based Shia militia group which supports Bashar as-Assad’s regime in Syria and is strongly anti-Israel.

The Week in Politics presenter Áine Lawlor noted that Rabbitte was laughing as a video clip of Colm Keaveney announcing his move with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was played.

“Irish television has some great moments… Padraig Flynn and The Late Late Show, Noel Dempsey and Dermot Ahern [saying] “There’s no bailout”, but if you watch that clip, that’s going to join them,” Rabbitte said.

He said Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin couldn’t “keep a straight face” as Keaveney described how warmly he had been welcomed into the Fianna Fáil family, and suggested that comedian Oliver Callan would provide the most accurate representation of what happened.

“I think Colm Keaveney would join the Hezbollah if he thought it would advance his career,” he said.

Lawlor questioned him about the analogy given Hezbollah’s actions, but Rabbitte dismissed any sinister motive.

“There’s no terrorism angle… he would join anyone if he thought it would advance his career,” he said.



Labour TDs have been openly disparaging about Keaveney’s move to Fianna Fáil, six months after he quit the junior government coalition party over his unhappiness with its policies in government.

Ruairí Quinn said it was a “sign of his own desperation” and dead-panned that the party would struggle without him, while Dublin South East TD Kevin Humphreys described his departure as a “morale boost” for the party.

Originally published 13:24

Keaveney: Fianna Fáil is a party that has learned from the mistakes of the past >

Read: ‘He tickled Bertie’s belly’: Here’s what Colm Keaveney used to say about Fianna Fáil >

Read: ‘It must be a sign of his own desperation’: Here’s what Labour thinks of Keaveney’s FF switch >

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