Sunday 19 November 2017

All is quiet in idyll of politician caught up in the storm

Conor Kane

BIRDS twittered and water gushed but there was no sign of Senator Larry Butler yesterday at this riverside "home".

Controversy may be raging about the designation of the Fianna Fail politician's address, but the man himself wasn't there when the Irish Independent called yesterday to the renovated former lockhouse near the River Barrow, about 3km or so from Graiguenamanagh, on the Co Carlow side .

The blinds were down at the house of the man whose constituency address is in south Co Dublin but, for expenses purposes, "lives" at this rural idyll.

On a sunny early June afternoon, with birdsong and the distant hum of a lawnmower the only sounds to be heard, it is easy to see why a busy senator would choose this location to get away from the bustle of Leinster House, the humdrum of Seanad questions, and the annoying media.


The tourists strolling along the towpath of the canal which runs along stretches of the Barrow between Graiguenamanagh and St Mullins were oblivious to the row surrounding Mr Butler's countryside retreat .

But one of the locals knew exactly what was going on.

"Doing a bit of investigating?" he queried when we asked for directions to the house.

Back in town, a businessman said he hadn't "a clue" where the senator based himself when away from his house on Westminster Road in Foxrock.

The Butler family have long-standing, indeed historic, ties with the area and Larry Butler himself is a native of the area.

And little did one of his ancestors, who is credited with building the old castle in Tinnahinch hundreds of years ago, know that another Butler residence would attract such attention in 2010.

But that was back in the days before expenses and mileage.

Irish Independent

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