Ó Riordáin: I thought 'Annie' was a new running mate for Hannigan
Junior Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has made light of his party colleague Dominic Hannigan's outrage over Labour's imaginary voter 'Ashbourne Annie'.
Mr Hannigan, a Meath East TD, rounded on "overpaid media gurus" for not consulting him about the fictional character from his own constituency. Annie was created to represent Labour's target swing voter ahead of the election.
"I'm very p***ed off that they went out with this without asking me what I thought. I could have explained what life is like for many of my constituents," he told the Sunday Independent.
But yesterday, Mr Ó Ríordáin took to the airwaves to joke about his colleague's anger.
"Can I be honest? When I woke up this morning and read about Ashbourne Annie, I assumed Dominic Hannigan had a new running mate in Meath and that's why he was upset," he told RTÉ Radio One.
The Dublin Bay North TD said 'Ashbourne Annie' was Labour's attempt to "show people how things have improved over the last number of years".
Annie is described as a stay-at-home mother of two children, living within Dublin's commuter belt.
Labour hopes it can woo Annie into voting for the party with promises of more tax cuts and reliefs for young families struggling with mortgages and childcare costs.
Ashbourne Annie has led to an online backlash for Labour, with the creation of a parody Twitter account and even a poem in her name.