Renua's Flanagan keeps silent on 'car crash' interview
Published 06/04/2015 | 11:47
TD TERENCE Flanagan, who last month stumbled through an interview on national radio, is remaining silent on the issue.
The Renua politician came under the spotlight in a Drive-time interview with RTE's Mary Wilson in which he was questioned about the new party's policies.
When approached by the Herald yesterday evening, the politician declined to comment, saying he was enjoying a "family day" and he did not want to speak about the interview.
Mr Flanagan has kept his public appearances to a minimum as his new party colleagues admit he has been left "shaken by his under-par performance" on Radio One.
The same sources said he suffered "stage fright" on the day that Renua was launched by Dublin Bay South TD Lucinda Creighton.
Despite the presenter attempting to guide the TD through a series of questions, Mr Flanagan struggled with the discussion.
"Renua is going to be very different. We're going to ensure that obviously what happened, what happened, emmm, will ensure," he said before stopping mid-sentence as he tried to describe what the party represents.
"We want to renew Ireland for the better, show compassion and solidarity for the people," he said, before sighing and going silent again.
Asked what type of party Renua intends to be, he replied that it would be "a party that's going to ensure promises" before he tailed off again.
Ms Wilson was sympathetic towards the floundering politician during the interview, telling him at one point: "It's a big day for you, as you say."
She quizzed Mr Flanagan on Renua Ireland's tax policies, with the TD starting to answer "The PAYE worker . . ." before a clicking noise was heard followed by silence.
"Terence, I think we'll leave it there for today," the presenter said before adding that they would discuss the issues again.
Since the "car crash" interview more than a month ago, the politician has refused to comment, only briefly saying that it was not his finest hour.
"Everyone has their good interviews and their bad interviews. Unfortunately, this was a bad interview," he previously said.
In 2013 Mr Flanagan was expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party when he voted against the whip on the controversial Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. He was one of four TDs, including Renua leader Lucinda Creighton, who suffered the same fate.