Saturday 24 February 2018

FF's Kitt to confront Martin over 'secret' signing of Keaveney

Colm Keaveney and Micheal Martin
Colm Keaveney and Micheal Martin
Michael Kitt

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

FIANNA Fail TD Michael Kitt will next week confront party leader Micheal Martin over the "secret" signing of Colm Keaveney.

Mr Kitt last night said there is serious dissatisfaction over the manner in which Mr Keaveney's move was communicated to Fianna Fail members.

The Galway East TD was only officially informed of Mr Keaveney's application to join Fianna Fail after it broke in the media. This is despite the fact that he shares the same constituency with the former Labour chairman.

Mr Kitt told the Irish Independent that he intends to voice his concerns with Mr Martin next week.

"There was no consultation and it did come out of the blue for many of us," he said.

"There is no need for secrecy in a democratic party like Fianna Fail and certainly people are not happy with the manner in which it was handled. That's not how you should do things in an open and transparent party," he added. Mr Kitt said he has not heard directly from Mr Keaveney since his membership was unanimously accepted by the parliamentary party on Tuesday.

And he rejected a report in a local newspaper which claimed that Mr Keaveney had been told he would be sole Fianna Fail candidate in the Galway East constituency.

"That's not true at all," he said, adding that he intends to defend his seat at the next general election.

The Irish Independent reported this week that some of Fianna Fail's most senior TDs were furious at the decision to accept Mr Keaveney's membership. However Micheal Martin yester-

day rejected suggestions that members of his party were kept "in the dark" over the move.

"I don't accept that at all. I did a lot of reflection beforehand.

"I had discussions with all members of the parliamentary party in advance of our decision to welcome Colm Keaveney into the party. Obviously there will always be challenges in a situation like this, particularly in the constituency concerned, wherever you bring in an extra public representative, be it councillors or a TD."

Asked whether Mr Kitt should have been informed of the news earlier, Mr Martin accepted that his party colleague may have concerns.

Irish Independent

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