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Thursday 23 January 2020

Ahern defends his 'cheerleading' for minister

JUSTICE Minister Dermot Ahern yesterday defended his decision to support former cabinet colleague Willie O'Dea in the brothel controversy, write Tom Brady and Fionnan Sheahan.

Mr Ahern was yesterday blamed in Fianna Fail circles for egging on Mr O'Dea during the motion of confidence debate.

The tone set by Mr O'Dea during that debate on Wednesday is seen as a factor in his downfall.

Fine Gael justice spokesman Charlie Flanagan described Mr Ahern as "cheerleader in chief" for Mr O'Dea. But Mr Ahern said he was loyal to his colleagues and friends and Mr O'Dea had made it quite clear that he had not deliberately sworn a false affidavit.

He made an incorrect affidavit and had apologised for that.

"The minute it was brought to his attention he got on to his solicitors and he immediately wanted to correct the record, as he should have.

"It's a complete mistake on his behalf and I think any reasonable person would accept that."

During the motion of confidence debate, Mr Ahern made 28 interventions.

Irish Independent

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