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Thursday 27 July 2017

Gallagher spoke of 30 years' work for FF party

Letter outlines his 'long record of commitment'

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

INDEPENDENT candidate Sean Gallagher highlighted his "30 years" of work for Fianna Fail when he sought to get elected on to the party's national executive.

And he made no reference to his desire to bring in a bill to improve the rights of sub-contractors to get paid for their work -- which he has publicly stated during the presidential campaign as his desire for joining Fianna Fail's most powerful internal body.

In a newly obtained letter, Mr Gallagher instead gave countless examples of his work for Fianna Fail at the highest levels.

"I have a long record of involvement and commitment to Fianna Fail over the past 30 years," he said.

The two-page letter, complete with Mr Gallagher's personal mobile number and email address, was sent just two years ago to the heads of Fianna Fail branches (cumainn) in Louth. At the time, Mr Gallagher was seeking their votes ahead of the party's Ard Fheis that year to get elected on to the party's national executive as one of the Louth representatives.

Mr Gallagher pointed out his service with former Health Minister Rory O'Hanlon as a full-time political secretary and his work with Charlie Haughey.

"I first served on the National Executive with Charlie Haughey from 1985 to 1987 when I was head of Ogra Fianna Fail nationally," he said.

In his letter, Mr Gallagher also wrote freely about his fund-raising work for Fianna Fail.

"I later worked full time for the party in Fianna Fail headquarters, supporting members like yourself in raising much needed funds for the work of the party," he said.

Last week, Mr Gallagher admitted he had invited guests to a secret corporate Fianna Fail fundraiser attended by then Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk in 2008 -- but strongly denied that he had asked them for any money.

In his letter Mr Gallagher talked about his role in helping Fianna Fail's Seamus Kirk retain his seat in the 2007 general election by acting as his director of elections.

"This also ensured that at a national level, we had the required number of seats to form the next government, and that Dermot Ahern was able to retain the position of minister, which was important for County Louth."

Mr Gallagher went on to pledge to work with the Fianna Fail cumainn in Louth "to meet the challenges we all now collectively face, particularly in the run-up to the local elections".

But rather than working with the cumainn, Mr Gallagher ended up only attending two meetings of the Fianna Fail national executive from 2009-2011.

He said he had become disillusioned with the party.

Irish Independent

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