ROSCOMMON Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan will not apologise to the man who has made a formal allegation of assault against him.
Hospital campaigner and by-election candidate John McDermott said he would withdraw his garda assault complaint only if the FG TD personally repeated a public apology already addressed to him.
But Deputy Feighan yesterday told the Irish Independent that he has no further comment to make on the incident and he is understood to be seeking legal advice. Local sources said there would be no further apology and the gardai would investigate the complaint and try to speak to those involved or witnessed the incident.
The incident, recorded by television cameras, occurred on Main Street in Roscommon town last Friday, just outside the Fine Gael by-election campaign headquarters. Taoiseach Enda Kenny had just arrived to canvass for party candidate Cllr Maura Hopkins when he was approached by a group of campaigners, including John McDermott, who want A&E services restored to Roscommon Hospital.
Local Fine Gael members, including Deputy Feighan, rushed to provide a buffer around the Taoiseach. In the ensuing confusion, Deputy Feighan was recorded on camera giving Mr McDermott an elbow to the stomach.
On Saturday, Deputy Feighan issued an apology, saying he overreacted in a tense situation and publicly apologised to John McDermott.
But Mr McDermott made a complaint to gardai and told this newspaper he would require an apology in person from the Fine Gael TD if he was to withdraw this complaint.