LIMERICK City general election candidate Willie O’Dea has strongly defended himself against any accusations that he removed Fianna Fáil party affiliations from his website, willieodea.ie.
The website, boasting the banner headline ‘Willie O’Dea, TD - Working for You’, does not contain any party logos, nor does it make any reference to the party he has been a member of for over 30 years, even in his biography, a discreet link to the Fianna Fáil homepage at the bottom corner of the site aside.
Several disgruntled voters expressed their surprise at this, given the long-serving TDs infamous dedication to his party.
“I’m just wondering if he feels ashamed to be representing Fianna Fáil, or else does he think the electorate are gullible enough into believing that he doesn’t represent them?” asked one voter. “How come every single other Limerick City candidate, Peter Power included, can display their party affiliation on their website, while Willie can’t?”
Responding, the former minister, who was this week re-established to the Fianna Fáil front bench, said: “It would be a difficult job for me to hide my political allegiance after all these years”.
“My website is my website - I have a Facebook as an individual, these things are very personal. If anybody thinks I am trying to conceal the fact that I am standing for Fianna Fáil, I think they know by now,” he said.
When it was put to the former minister that his website was described as a political one, he agreed, but said it was “risible” that he would conceal his political party affiliation.
“Yes it is a political website, but it is absolutely risible for anybody to think I am trying to conceal the fact that I am (in) Fianna Fáil - I am not.”
He added: “I am getting plenty of abuse on the doorsteps for being Fianna Fáil. People are angry, just as I would be angry too, I understand that.”