Saturday 14 December 2019

Minister Alan Kelly dismisses reports party chiefs are hiding him in Tipperary over election fears

Environment Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Steve Humphreys
Environment Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Steve Humphreys

David Kearns

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has dismissed reports he is being “kept under wraps” in Tipperary over concerns he is derailing the Labour Party’s general election campaign.

In recent weeks it has been reported that senior Labour figures are worried about the party’s deputy leader and the constant controversy surrounding him.

It comes after the Irish Independent revealed that Mr Kelly angrily confronted Newstalk presenter Chris Donoghue over alleged preferential treatment to his constituency rival, independent TD Michael Lowry.

Read More: Politicians like Alan Kelly must be 'weeded out' - Richard Boyd Barrett

However speaking on RTE’s News at One, Minister Kelly said this “growing disquiet” with his behaviour was nonsense.

“Well I say it as it is… and [Joan] has referred to the fact that it would be very hard to hide me,” he told host Aine Lawlor.

“I launched our national housing policy last week, I’ve been on national radio stations [all week]… and I’m here today and I’m on the TV3 Deputy leaders’ debates,” he added.

Read More: Tanaiste defends Alan Kelly's absence at Childcare launch following 'power is a drug' interview

“Also, by the way, Tipperary is a massive constituency so I’ve been knocking on thousands of doors over the last few weeks.”

Speaking at Labour's Childcare launch earlier this month, party leader Joan Burton said the Tipperary TD was doing exactly “what he should be doing”.

“Alan like everybody else has to be in his own constituency,” she added.

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