Locals raise eyebrows at suggestion that Fianna Fail senator is 'full-time' resident
HIS family name is synonymous with the area along the Barrow which straddles counties Kilkenny and Carlow.
But Senator Larry Butler's claims to live there "full-time" raised some eyebrows locally yesterday.
A member of the Butler family is reported to have built Tinnahinch Castle, between Graiguenamanagh in Co Kilkenny and St Mullins in Co Carlow, back in the 16th or early 17th century and there's no doubt the Butlers have links to the area stretching back centuries.
However, judging by comments from people in Graiguenamanagh yesterday, Senator Larry Butler's local presence is in a "second home" or a "summer house" rather than involving him living there on a full-time basis.
It's understood that in recent years the senator renovated a former lock-house close to the river Barrow, about two miles from Graiguenamanagh on the St Mullins road.
Yet, as far as locals spoken to by the Irish Independent are concerned, this property is used as a getaway from Dublin.
"He has a summer house in the area," said one man. "He would be down at weekends."
Asked if Larry Butler lives there full-time, this man replied: "Ah no, no."
Another person in the town said that the Fianna Fail senator has "a second home" locally, but "doesn't live full-time down here".
Mr Butler would be a "regular" visitor and spends a lot of time at weekends and during the summer in Graiguenamanagh, this local said.
It's understood that he gets involved in fundraising events around the Co Kilkenny community and would often be down with family members who hail from Tinnahinch.
During Seanad debates late last year on the flooding crisis which hit many parts of the country, Mr Butler spoke about flooding of the river Barrow which regularly hits Graiguenamanagh and the surrounding areas.
"I come from a town, Graiguenamanagh, that floods on a regular basis," he told the Seanad in November.