Minister goes to war on claims of €60m rural underspend
Rural Ireland is fast becoming a central battleground for the local elections as Minister Michael Ring goes to war with Fianna Fáil.
The Opposition party has claimed "a massive" €60m assigned to projects in rural Ireland has gone unspent in the past two years.
But Mr Ring has totally rebuffed the accusation, saying his constituency rival Dara Calleary was "never any good with figures".
"When he was minister for enterprise, we were losing 1,000 jobs a week," the Mayo TD said.
It comes after a weekend where the Rural Affairs Minister was engaged in another war of words with former Kerry footballer Pat Spillane.
The 'Sunday Game' pundit used a 'Late Late Show' appearance to lambast the Department of Rural Affairs, which he previously represented as an ambassador for rural Ireland.
He said the minister was getting "bad advice" from his officials and described a recent scheme to tackle rural isolation as "gobbledegook and horse s**t".
But Mr Ring subsequently released private text messaging in which Mr Spillane was complimentary of his work.