Monday 26 September 2016

Junior minister Dara Murphy elected to a prestigious EU political post despite tensions within Fine Gael over his nomination

Niall O'Connor in Madrid

Published 22/10/2015 | 17:40

Dara Murphy
Dara Murphy

Junior minister Dara Murphy has been elected to a prestigious EU political post despite tensions within Fine Gael over his nomination.

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Mr Murphy, who has been at the centre of controversy in recent weeks, was last night elected one of ten vice presidents of the European Peoples' Party (EPP), of which Fine Gael is a member.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who heavily lobbied on Mr Murphy's behalf, previously held the post.

However, it’s emerged that Mr Murphy’s nomination has sparked tensions within Fine Gael with some party sources suggesting it should have been given to either Brian Hayes or Mairead McGuinness, both of whom are MEPs.

Mr Murphy has been the centre of the controversy after he and his wife were escorted to Dublin airport in a garda car by on duty officers after his car broke down in the middle of the night.

But speaking in Madrid, Mr Kenny staunchly defended the decision to put Mr Murphy forward. He said there are no divisions within the party and that the recent controversy has no bearing on Mr Murphy’s record in this instance.

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