Fianna Fail’s Cllr Eddie Wade has attacked Limerick TDs Niall Collins and Willie O’Dea for promoting the presidential candidacy of Gay Byrne over party MEP Brian Crowley.
The former Limerick East TD said Fianna Fail grassroots “in east and west Limerick” were horrified that their TDs had come out in support of “a 77-year-old man who was never a member of the party in his life”.
“A lot of people are very disappointed and I’m very disappointed myself that somebody of the quality of Brian Crowley should be treated like this. To me he is one of the finest public representatives Fianna Fail has ever produced with a long record of service to the party and his father [Flor Crowley] before him,” said Cllr Wade.
“I remember Flor giving speeches at ard-fheiseanna back in the days when we had a real Fianna Fail party who acted in the interests of the people. Brian had indicated at a very early stage that he was interested in the presidency but we had members of the parliamentary party, or what’s left of them, not too far away from here who came out and backed Gay Byrne above people like Brian who have done so much to build up the organisation,” he said.
Asked if he was referring to Deputy Collins and Deputy O’Dea - both of whom backed Gay Byrne as a candidate “outside politics” who Fianna Fail could support - Cllr Wade said: “I have no time for these people, they are not real Fianna Fail”.
“Real Fianna Fail people are furious with how a proven vote-getter like Brian Crowley has been treated, people both in east and west Limerick. They are people in the old-style Fianna Fail I grew up with who marched the roads and boreens for the party. Their views were never taken into consideration by members of the parliamentary party who came out in a shot to support a 77-year-old man who was never involved in politics.”