Fianna Fail candidates in 'battle of the posters'
FIANNA Fail's European duo are locked in a 'bad-tempered battle of the posters'.
From the start, veteran battler Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher and relative newcomer Thomas Byrne could not agree any canvassing territorial division of the country's biggest ever election constituency, which is spread across 15 counties and three provinces.
And now the pair's supporters are busy hanging posters deep in each other's territory.
Yesterday, supporters of Mr Gallagher were complaining bitterly about Thomas Byrne posters in Mr Gallagher's Donegal bailiwick.
But Mr Byrne's camp countered that his native Meath was festooned in parts by The Cope's posters.
The pair are slugging it out in four-seat Midlands-North-West (MNW), which comprises the five Connacht counties, the three Ulster counties in the Republic, and seven counties in mid and north Leinster. But both sides say a territorial divide is not practicable and some quietly concede that FF can expect little beyond one of the four seats.
Mr Gallagher, who began his career in the 1979 council elections and never lost any of the 13 elections contested since then, said he wanted the two candidates to share a single poster.
"I've always been a party person and I believed the party could have saved tens of thousands of euro by opting for a single poster. But I was over-ruled by headquarters," Mr Gallagher told the Irish Independent.
Last weekend's Irish Independent/Millward Brown poll put Mr Byrne, a senator based in Meath East, on 16pc, with Donegal-based Mr Gallagher on 9pc.