Smith's son finds himself in hot water over Lowry vote
The sons of former ministers and constituency rivals Michael Lowry and Michael Smith have joined forces to cause an upset on the new Tipperary County Council.
Fianna Fail Cllr Michael Smith Jnr has been accused of "backstabbing" his party colleagues after uniting with Sinn Fein and Independents, including Micheal Lowry Jnr, to become chairman of his district in the county.
Mr Smith Jnr is also facing potential disciplinary proceedings from Fianna Fail headquarters after voting for himself, rather than his party's nominee for the position.
The move has damaged Mr Smith's chances of becoming the Fianna Fail candidate in the general election.
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael struck a deal to take the chairmanship of Tipperary County Council for the next five years.
But each of the new municipal districts on the county councils also elects a chair.
In the Templemore-Thurles municipal district, the four Fianna Fail and one Fine Gael councillors had a majority on the nine seats.
Mr Smith lost out to his party colleague John Hogan to be the Fianna Fail nominee for chairman for the first year.
But he ended up teaming up with Mr Lowry, two more Independents and a Sinn Fein councillor, who nominated him.
Mr Smith effectively had the deciding vote and went for himself to defeat his party colleague by five votes to four.
Mr Smith said he was approached just minutes before the meeting by Mr Lowry, who said he would be nominating him for the position.
"I was therefore in a position to give the deciding vote, I could hardly be expected to vote against myself," he said. "I have struck no deal. There is no pact."
Mr Hogan said Mr Smith was obliged to vote for him as the Fianna Fail nominee. "He went and stabbed the whole lot of us in the back," he said.
Fianna Fail's group on the council has now reported the matter to party headquarters.