Saturday 18 January 2020

Kenny hits back at Creighton over party donations

Anita Guidera

FINE Gael leader Enda Kenny last night lashed rogue TD Lucinda Creighton and insisted his party's dealings with developers and donations were all above board.

After days of silence following damning criticism by the backbench TD about the source of party donations, Mr Kenny finally hit back.

Ms Creighton's comments earlier this week to the MacGill summer school ripped open the divisions in Mr Kenny's party.

The Fine Gael leader was said to be furious after Ms Creighton, TD for Dublin South, said there was no place in the party for "cute hoor" politics.

She also criticised a decision to invite a property developer with loans in NAMA on a party golf fundraising classic.

Mr Kenny was on a visit to border counties to launch a jobs initiative when Ms Creighton stole the headlines.

"These are internal matters for the Fine Gael party, I'm disappointed that they were raised at a public forum like the MacGill School and from that point of view I would've preferred if they'd been brought to my attention ether through the parliamentary party or directly," he said.

As he arrived in Glenties last night at around 8pm, he castigated his TD for publicly raising the issue of Fine Gael accepting corporate donations from a NAMA-associated developer.

And he insisted that all Fine Gael dealings when it came to fundraising were above board.

"The Fine Gael party have no truck with rogue builders or hooky characters or shady characters. We have no dealings with brown envelopes, influence buying or dig outs," he said.

Communications minister Eamon Ryan added his views in the growing row over legislation on party donations.

He said that the legislation was "top" of the Green agenda and said he would like to see it introduced by the end of the year.

But he stopped short of supporting claims made by Mr Gogarty earlier yesterday that any failure by Fianna Fail to bring forward the legislation was a potential deal-breaker for the coalition.

"I'd like to see it this year. We need to react quickly, restore confidence in the Irish political system," he said.

"I think you are either in favour of corporate donations or against it. That splitting the line whether it is good corporate money or bad corporate money, you cannot do," he said.

But the minister said that the Green Party was not working in Government on the basis of threatening to walk out over every potentially controversial issue.

"We are working with our government colleagues effectively and I believe we will deliver on that as on a number of other issues in the programme for government.

"Corporate donations, yes, it is right up there on top of what is quite a long list," he said.

Mr Ryan said a new political system was needed that was not driven by corporate donations.

"In fact, we need a political system where it doesn't matter if you got the money from a 'good' or 'bad' developer, the point is you got money at all," he said.


He told delegates at the Co Donegal school that a recovery would come, but that it would be a Green one.

"It was great for this country to have 10 years of everyone getting a job, but the problem was there was a systems failure.

"There was a fundamental failing and mistake at the centre of the Celtic Tiger. We can lose the bad part of it, keep some of the good bits and bring back those jobs.

"I am absolutely confident that that will happen in this country. What I am saying is that we will recover, I believe it will be a green recovery," he said.

He said new economics was needed that would leave the planet in a suitable condition for the next generations.

Irish Independent

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