'Clare Daly and I are just good friends'
INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace has insisted he and TD Clare Daly are "just good friends".
Ms Daly's support for Mr Wallace after his €2.1m tax settlement with the Revenue was cited as a factor in her acrimonious departure from the Socialist Party last month.
The party said that she placed more value on her political connection with Mr Wallace than on the work of the Socialist Party.
Mr Wallace said they were "just good friends".
"Myself and Clare Daly get on well," he told RTE's 'Marian Finucane Show'. In another bizarre moment, he told the radio presenter live on air that he had once been asked if he was having an affair with her.
"I was seen down in the wine bar talking with you twice.
"A fellah came up to me and said, 'you are not having an affair with Marian Finucane, are you?' I said, 'no, you are right, I am not'."
Ms Daly is one of the few supporters that Mr Wallace now has left in the Dail. She publicly sat beside him when he apologised for deliberately under-declaring €1.4m VAT on apartment sales by his construction company. But since resigning from the Socialist Party, she has started sitting away from him on another section of the Independent benches.
Ms Daly has insisted that her resignation was due to her frustration at the slow progress in building the United Left Alliance into a "real, serious political alternative to Labour". Mr Wallace also denied that he was the reason that Ms Daly had quit the Socialist Party.
"Clare Daly's departure from the Socialist Party is her own business, I can assure you it had nothing to do with me.
"Obviously, she feels she can be more effective outside the party than in it," he said.
During the same interview, Mr Wallace revealed how he collected most of an outstanding building debt of IR£20,000 (€25,400) owed to him by hinting he had hired a gun-toting "hitman".