Reilly is looking for answers over Perry claims
Published 15/08/2016 | 02:30
Fine Gael deputy leader James Reilly has written to the party's under-fire general secretary, Tom Curran, to demand answers in relation to the John Perry saga. Dr Reilly has asked Mr Curran to respond to claims that he put a councillor under "considerable pressure" not to appear as a witness in a court case before Christmas.
Mr Perry, a former junior minister, took the case against the party following its handling of the selection convention in Sligo/Leitrim.
Fine Gael settled the case out of court - a move that is believed to have cost the party in the region of €500,000.
But the issue has now resurfaced after Mr Perry claimed in a letter last month that a party official had been pressurised not to appear as a witness.
The official in question is Sligo councillor Hubert Keaney, who is standing by the allegations, despite refusing to speak publicly.
The intervention by Dr Reilly came after the senator had received a letter from Mr Perry, outlining his allegations.
Contacted over the letter, Dr Reilly said: "I received it, have noted its contents and have responded to Mr Perry."
But sources said Dr Reilly was taking the matter "very seriously", given that he is the party's deputy leader.
"He wants to get to the bottom of this as the claims being made are damaging for the party," said a source.
As revealed by the Irish Independent, Mr Curran is due to be hauled in front of the parliamentary party at the Fine Gael think-in in Kildare next month to discuss the Perry affair.
Mr Curran recently attended a meeting of the party's trustees, during which he categorically denied the allegations.