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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Former FF TD Briscoe furious at treatment of Gay Byrne

Sam Smyth and Ed Carty

A VETERAN Fianna Fail member and former TD last night criticised Fiaana Fail leader Micheal Martin's role in the presidential race, and said he would be supporting Fine Gael's candidate.

Ben Briscoe described Mr Martin's approach to Gay Byrne as "disgusting" and said he was now backing Gay Mitchell's bid for the Aras.

"What was done to Gay Byrne was disgusting," said Mr Briscoe.

"He didn't know that he was getting into. It was a very bad call by Micheal Martin."

A former Lord Mayor of Dublin and a Fianna Fail TD for 37 years, Mr Briscoe shared the Dublin South Central constituency with Gay Mitchell for more than 20 years.

"I'm backing Gay Mitchell because I served the people of Dublin with him for more than 20 years," said Mr Briscoe.

The attack on Mr Martin comes as a significant section of the FF party questions his judgement and handling of the presidential candidacy.

A spokesman for Gay Mitchell welcomed Mr Briscoe's support and said many grassroots Fianna fail supporters are backing the Fine Gael candidate.

A spokesman for Fianna Fail declined to comment.

Meanwhile, former broadcaster Micheal O Muircheartaigh says he will announce late next week whether he will throw his hat into the ring in the race for the presidency.

The voice of the GAA will consult his family over the next few days as he considers standing as an Independent candidate. The Kerryman, who turns 81 next week, said age was not an issue and said that he had been encouraged by a groundswell of support among grassroots GAA fans.

"I have not decided so far, but I certainly will before the end of next week," he said when asked again about his intention to run," he said.

"I never set out to be anything in the political sphere but there had been the odd reference over the last couple of years that I would be suitable. But what really has got to me is the vast surge of support among people."

The renowned commentator said he would not expect to be formally backed by the GAA for a run for the Aras, but said he had support from the business and commercial world and some in politics.

Irish Independent

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