Friday 21 June 2019

FG is keen to resolve senators' row

Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone. Photo: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Fine Gael will move this week to find a resolution to a damaging row between two of its senators.

Senator Catherine Noone has made allegations at a party meeting about the conduct of an older male colleague which she said she had found unacceptable.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the meeting that he would not allow any bullying or similar behaviour in the Fine Gael party.

The male colleague, who has not been named, is understood to utterly reject Ms Noone's claims.

He is also known to be a popular and well-regarded colleague among both female and male colleagues.

The extent of the fallout from the spat, which took many by surprise at last Wednesday's Fine Gael weekly meeting of TDs and senators, has also surprised many within the party. Ms Noone, a solicitor and a native of Mayo but now based in Dublin, has been a senator since 2011.

More recently she has gained national prominence as chairperson of the joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment. But she tearfully told colleagues at last week's meeting that she could no longer put up with her colleague's conduct, accusing him of "talking down to her".

The matter has now been handed over to party chairman Martin Heydon, the TD for Kildare South, and party secretary general Tom Curran. Mr Curran is expected to speak with both parties and report back.

Party officials hope the dispute can be resolved quickly.

Fine Gael has been critical of Sinn Féin's controversies over alleged bullying of councillors.

Irish Independent

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