Saturday 10 December 2016

Row as election leaflet calls for voters to give preference to minister over his running mate

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 25/02/2016 | 22:37

Damien English
Damien English
Fine Gael TD for Meath West Ray Butler

A row has broken out in Fine Gael after an election leaflet emerged calling for voters to give their first preference votes to a government minister over his constituency colleague.

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The letter, distributed in parts of Meath West, urged constituents to support junior minister Damien English and give their number two to FG backbencher Ray Butler.

Fine Gael TD for Meath West Ray Butler
Fine Gael TD for Meath West Ray Butler

But Fine Gael is investigating the matter after it emerged the letters were signed by the party's director of elections in Meath West John Dooley.

Contacted tonight, Mr Dooley claimed he did not sign the letters.

"We are looking into the matter," he said.

It's understood he has contacted his solicitor about the matter.

Asked further about the letters, which were sent in the form of mock ballot papers, Mr Dooley said:

"I've had a long day. I don't need this, sunshine. I'll talk to you about it tomorrow," he added, before ending the conversation.

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