Thursday 5 December 2019

'A lot of it was cut out' - Minister not happy with his role in Verona Murphy 'Eye of the Tiger' video


Controversy: Verona Murphy lost out in the Wexford by-election. Picture: Doug O'Connor
Controversy: Verona Murphy lost out in the Wexford by-election. Picture: Doug O'Connor
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

A Fine Gael minister has criticised Verona Murphy for using a video he recorded in support of her for a controversial campaign ad where it was claimed the Wexford by-election candidate was the victim of "character assassination" by the media.

Minister of State Andrew Doyle told the Irish Independent he is not sure he would have allowed the clip - where he urged people to vote for Ms Murphy - to be used in the unsanctioned campaign ad had he known about it.

The roughly 90-second video, set to Survivor's 'Eye of the Tiger', has been widely condemned by Fine Gael ministers and is likely to hasten the Irish Road Haulage Association president being dropped from the general election ticket.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Fine Gael's director of elections, said of the video: "That kind of tone, that kind of sense of enmity will not play a part in the Fine Gael election campaign."

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It was posted on the eve of polling day and features supporters of Ms Murphy and Fine Gael ministers, including Mr Doyle and Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring, calling on voters to support the candidate.

"So we're asking people to vote number one Verona Murphy on November the 29th," Mr Doyle says in the video while standing alongside Ms Murphy.

Asked about the matter, Mr Doyle said: "It would have been nice if someone had let me know it was being used. When I see the snippet, it was what I said at the end of the video - a lot of it was cut out."

Asked if he would have allowed the video to be used if he had been informed in advance, Mr Doyle responded: "That is a good question, I am not sure I would have."

Ms Murphy failed to take the Dáil seat in Wexford after a controversial campaign when she linked migrants in Ireland to Isil. She later apologised for the remarks but has refused to comment on the video.

Minister of State Andrew Doyle
Minister of State Andrew Doyle

Irish Independent

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