Sunday 21 January 2018

O'Dea furious over colleague's ad

Barry Duggan

WILLIE O'Dea last night lashed out at his running mate Peter Power for running a newspaper advert that suggested Fianna Fail wanted voters to give their first preference votes to the former overseas aid minister.

The advertisement was placed on the front page of the 'Limerick Leader'.

On the last day of the canvass, the former Defence Minister -- who is contesting his 10th election -- savagely criticised his running mate.

Mr O'Dea said Mr Power's advertisement -- which bears all the hallmarks of an official Fianna Fail message -- was childish, amateurish and dishonest.

"I saw it, it was very sneaky. It is very misleading. It's grossly dishonest. I agreed with Mr Power that we would not do any preferable ads and the party would put in the ad for both of us. I adhered to the agreement," Mr O'Dea said.

"Yet he goes off and does this. I think it is a rather childish attempt to underestimate the electorate.

"He has grossly underestimated their intelligence."

Mr O'Dea is renowned for zealously guarding his personal vote and has been criticised in the past for not bringing home running mates despite gaining huge first preferences.

"He (Peter) has been going all around town saying I am safe and there is no need to vote for me," Mr O'Dea claimed.

Last night, Mr Power said Mr O'Dea need have no fear of losing his seat.

"From our canvassing on the doorsteps, it is clear Willie will be elected on the first count," Mr Power said.

"If the Fianna Fail vote is balanced between Peter and Willie, Fianna Fail will hold both seats. This has been our message since the beginning of the campaign and we ask that Fianna Fail voters vote strategically to secure our two seats."

Irish Independent

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