Thursday 27 October 2016

Leo Varadkar 'concerned' at allegations Fine Gael councillor pressurised not to appear at court case

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 02/08/2016 | 15:47

Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tom Burke
Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tom Burke

SOCIAL Protection Leo Varadkar has said he is “concerned” at allegations that a Fine Gael councillor was pressurised not to appear at a high-profile court case.

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But Mr Varadkar said the issue is primarily a matter for the FIne Gael national executive and that he personally does not “all of the facts”.

The minister was responding to claims that Sligo councillor Hubert Keaney was put under “considerable pressure” not to appear at a case at the High Court before Christmas which involved Fine Gael and former minister John Perry.

Mr Perry first made the allegations in a letter sent to senior party figures last month. Mr Keaney is standing by the claims and has since written to party trustees and Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes.

Asked about the issue today, Mr Varadkar replied:

“I’ve read about the various allegations in relation to the Perry case. I am not involved in it directly, I don’t know the details. I haven’t seen any of the letters. But obviously I’d be concerned about any allegation of that nature but I don’t know the facts.”

When it was put to Mr Varadkar that perhaps he should seek further clarification as Cabinet minister, he again voiced his “concern” but said it was “primarily” a matter for the party’s national executive.

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