New Sinn Fein office opens after O'Dea 'donation'
Sinn Fein celebrated the opening of a new party office in Limerick yesterday -- after it was made possible by cash from Willie O'Dea's court settlement to one of its councillors.
Councillor Maurice Quinlivan said money from the settlement given to him by the former minister, which is undisclosed, was used to fund the party's new office which opened yesterday in the city.
"I made a donation to the local party and it helped to get the office opened," he explained.
The Limerick City Council member would not be drawn about how much of the money from his defamation action had gone toward the new party premises. "I won't comment on any figure, I'm not discussing that," he said. "I got damages but what was most important to me was to get a full apology."
The new office on Mary Street in Limerick's historic medieval quarter will be a great asset to the party which hopes to field a candidate in the next general election. Mr Quinlivan was defeated at the 2007 polls and could not confirm that he would stand again.
"We've been slowly building the party in Limerick," he said. "We'll definitely be running someone in the next elections."
Mr Quinlivan said he had been concentrating on getting back to normal since Willie O'Dea stepped down as Defence Minister last Thursday. He said: "It was difficult and I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I went through in the last 10 months. His resignation has now put it all to bed."
He said: "I don't take any great pleasure in the fact that he lost his ministerial position. But this was a calamity he brought upon himself. Anybody would have acted the way I did; I just defended my good name."