O'Rourke gives up €2,500 party payment
FORMER Fianna Fail TD Mary O'Rourke is to give up a €2,500 payment she had from her local party organisation to help pay for her failed election bid.
The Irish Independent reported yesterday that Ms O'Rourke asked the FF Athlone Comhairle Ceantair -- or local branch -- for the payment last Friday and she won a vote of members on the issue.
But the request annoyed some local party figures who pointed out that the organisation had only €2,365 in its bank account and would be left overdrawn if it paid the former minister.
They also said Ms O'Rourke should have requested the money before the election began rather than waiting until it was over. But Ms O'Rourke told Midlands 103 radio yesterday that she had contacted local chairman Michael O'Brien and said she did not need the money. It is understood Ms O'Rourke telephoned Mr O'Brien after she had been contacted by this newspaper on Sunday.
She said yesterday she had decided to forgo the payment due to the poor state of the branch's finances.