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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Farmer in blood doctor race row dated Bertie's ex

Published 29/01/2014 | 06:44

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John McNamara at Ennis Court
John McNamara at Ennis Court
Celia Larkin

THE farmer who was banned from driving after refusing to provide a blood sample to a black doctor is an ex-partner of Celia Larkin, the former partner of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

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John McNamara of Raheenabeg, Killaloe, Co Clare appeared in Ennis Circuit Criminal Court on Monday where a €2,500 district court fine was upheld.

McNamara -- a well known cattle dealer in the East Clare region -- had appealed against a district court conviction banning him from driving for four years after he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving near his home on August 19, 2012.

After his arrest, the farmer was brought to Killaloe Garda Station where he failed to provide a blood sample to a Sudanese doctor, Dr Awadilla Abdelrrazig.

Gda Jarlath Hardiman said when Dr Abdelrrazig arrived to get a blood sample McNamara said: "I'm not letting that black doctor near me. I'm not letting him do anything to me."

McNamara also said that "he's black, he's black, it's not right".

APOLOGY

Dr Abdelrrazig said McNamara "was making inappropriate comments to me and said that he wasn't giving blood to a black doctor. He also said that he doubted that I was a doctor".

The farmer's counsel apologised in court this week to Judge Carroll Moran as McNamara failed with an application to have the case dismissed.

The Herald has learnt that McNamara was previously dating Celia Larkin -- the former partner of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern -- after she moved to the Lough Derg region of Clare several years ago.

At the time, Ms Larkin was studying politics and international relations at the University of Limerick and had bought the former home of well known Irish comedian Brendan Grace.

The bungalow is located on the shoreline of Lough Derg and offers splendid views in one of the most sought-after locations in the country. McNamara lives a short distance away.

PAIR

The pair dated and were revealed to be a familiar sight together in Killaloe in 2010 and 2011 but later went their separate ways.

Last year, Ms Larkin graduated with a first class honours in her course and was later accepted for a postgraduate course in public policy at University College London.

John McNamara continues to live in Killaloe and is regarded as a popular figure locally.

Cormac McQuinn

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