Martin 'just a transitional leader'
Published 02/09/2011 | 05:00
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin was embroiled in a row last night with a former TD who accused him of breaking a deal and actively scuppering his son's electoral chances.
The former TD warned the party was still toxic and said Mr Martin would prove no more than a transitional leader.
Former Fianna Fail TD Noel O'Flynn (59), who stood down before the General Election, accused Mr Martin of blatantly reneging on a deal in which party support was promised for his son's Seanad campaign. Mr Martin rejected the claim by his fellow party colleague in Cork. The party leader accused Mr O'Flynn of having a problem with every Fianna Fail leader for years.
Mr O'Flynn said he agreed not to defend his seat in Cork North Central after a meeting with Mr Martin, who had just been elected Fianna Fail leader.
He insisted that support was promised for his son, Kenneth O'Flynn, in the impending Seanad election campaign.
Mr Martin has disputed this and denied that any deal to actively campaign on his son's behalf was agreed.
"I am a straight talker and it has gotten me into trouble all through my political career. Micheal Martin is not telling the truth," Mr O'Flynn said.
"I said, 'I will stand down if there is a condition of us winning only one seat'.
"But I said, 'I am asking you to support Cllr Kenneth O'Flynn if he gets an outside nomination for the Seanad. I am asking you as the leader.' The whole of HQ, and Sean Dorgan (FF general secretary) was present on the day," he added.
"He said, 'We will do that and we will support him'," he said.
Mr O'Flynn said that, during the Seanad election campaign, not only did the FF hierarchy fail to fully support his son but senior party officials actively worked to divert votes from his son to a rival Dublin candidate.
"Then there was a campaign in the last week of the Seanad campaign to ensure that Kenneth got very few votes," he claimed.
In a stark assessment of the party's decision not to run a presidential candidate, Mr O'Flynn said the decision was because tribunal reports expected during the campaign were likely to be damning for Fianna Fail.