Thursday 23 March 2017

O'Dea comes face to face with old foe

Barry Duggan

Willie O'Dea and the councillor at the centre of the former Defence Minister's departure from the Cabinet found common ground last night -- thanks to St Patrick.

For the first time since Mr O'Dea resigned as a result of the false affidavit saga, the Fianna Fail TD came face-to-face at a former church in Limerick city with the Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan -- the man Mr O'Dea incorrectly linked to a brothel.

St John's church has been completely renovated in recent years for the use of Daghda Dance Company, and last night hosted a reception to officially launch this year's St Patrick's celebrations in the city. Surrounded by fire-eaters, dancers and musicians, both men kept apart and did not speak.

The nearest Mr O'Dea and Mr Quinlivan came to each other was near a bar where the city councillor waited to be served as Mr O'Dea mingled with guests. There was no mention of the controversy that engrossed the nation a fortnight ago.

Last night, Mr O'Dea said he was "feeling great". However, his future in politics remains unclear.

"I said I was getting away for a few days to clear my head but I haven't managed to do that yet, unfortunately. Every day I get up there seems to be something else to do, so I haven't got away yet but I will hopefully in the next week and we will talk when I come back," Mr O'Dea said.

He said he had received huge support from people asking him to stay on, but added that there were a "few considerations to take into account".

Regarding the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle and who his successor might be, Mr O'Dea said the matter was "solely a prerogative" for the Taoiseach.

Irish Independent

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