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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Gallagher visited FF tent

Mark O'Regan

PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Sean Gallagher attended the infamous Fianna Fail Galway Races fundraising tent, the Irish Independent has learned.

The tent was a major party fundraiser for 15 years, and attracted some of the country's richest property developers and building firm owners during the Celtic Tiger years.

"He attended a very small number of fundraising events over the years as a grassroots member of Fianna Fail," a spokeswoman for Mr Gallagher confirmed.

"Mr Gallagher did attend the Galway races once, five or six years ago, and visited the Fianna Fail tent for half an hour.

"Mr Gallagher has also attended the annual Cairde Fail dinner a number of times," she added.

When asked when the other events took place, the spokeswoman said it was not possible "with any precision" to detail dates, times and locations as they were not recorded by Mr Gallagher.

Mr Gallagher was asked about his time in the Fianna Fail tent during his visit to Moneygall, Co Offaly, yesterday but he refused to comment.

He would only say that his press office had already dealt with this matter.

Earlier this week, Mr Gallagher failed to criticise Fianna Fail's record in power, but he has consistently stressed his independence as a candidate.

The spokeswoman insisted Mr Gallagher never made a corporate donation to any party.

However, Mr Gallagher refused to reveal the identities of individuals who may have made corporate donations to fund his own campaign.

His team said any such donations were "in line with the Standards in Public Office legislation".

When asked if he had received any donations from anybody with links to Fianna Fail, the spokeswoman said he had received financial support from all over the country from individual supporters.

A Fianna Fail spokesman refused to comment on any involvement Mr Gallagher had with the party or its fund raising activities.

Irish Independent

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