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Fine Gael TD for Dublin South Peter Mathews (File photo) Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Fine Gael

Chief whip will speak to Peter Mathews over attendance at bondholder protest

Fine Gael TD Mathews attended the Ballyhea/Charleville anti-bank bailout protest meeting at the weekend.

THE GOVERNMENT CHIEF Whip, Paul Kehoe, has confirmed that he will be speaking to the Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews over his attendance at the Ballyhea anti-bank bailout protest meeting at the weekend.

The Dublin South TD, who has caused controversy since being elected two years ago, attended the meeting to mark the 100th consecutive week of the Ballyhea and Charleville anti-bank bailout protests in Cork on Saturday.

The protests primarily take aim at the billions of euro that Ireland is paying to bondholders in its troubled banks.

Kehoe, who is also the Fine Gael whip, said he had not been able to confirm whether Mathews had attended the meeting but the Irish Independent carries quotes from the TD who said he was present to “acknowledge that they [the protesters] had kept a tenacious argument going.”

Speaking to TheJournal.ie Kehoe said: “I haven’t spoken to him [Mathews] yet but I will be speaking to him.”

Asked what he would be saying to Mathews, the chief whip declined to say: “I’m not going to go into that… I don’t go into what I say to any TD.

“I’m waiting to speak to Peter Mathews first to let it come from the horse’s mouth as they say.”

He added that he hoped to speak to the Dublin South deputy today if not later this week.

Mathews is no stranger to conflict with the Fine Gael party leadership having orchestrated a rare government defeat in an Oireachtas Finance Committee vote on calling Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan to appear before it last March.

In August 2011, Mathews, who is a qualified chartered accountant, told the Sunday Times he had more experience than the Finance Minister Michael Noonan who he described as “very light in terms of banking expertise”.

Previously: New Fine Gael TD: I’m more experienced than Michael Noonan

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