Wednesday 22 November 2017

TD talks about 'car crash' interview for first time

Renua Ireland's Terence Flanagan with Miriam O'Callaghan after his radio interview today
Renua Ireland's Terence Flanagan with Miriam O'Callaghan after his radio interview today
Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

TD Terence Flanagan has broken his silence on his "car crash" interview on RTE radio, saying it was because he was "exhausted".

Mr Flanagan denied it was a panic attack, as had been suggested at the time, but likened the interview to an "out-of-body experience".

"It was one interview too many for me, I was exhausted," said the Renua TD.

Mr Flanagan said he knew instantly that last month's interview was "bad, very bad", but he said it was "one of those things".

Mr Flanagan said the six-month run-up to the Renua launch earlier in the day had "taken its toll" on him.

"There was a six-month run up to the launch. It all took its toll on me, I was exhausted. It was an early start, a 6am start. I did a few interviews in the morning and they went very well.

"We celebrated at lunch, but by the late afternoon the adrenalin was fading," he told RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan yesterday in his first interview since his "car-crash" interview.

"It was just a human situation. I had put myself under huge pressure, which wasn't sustainable," he said.

Mr Flanagan also paid tribute to 'Drivetime' anchor Mary Wilson for the compassion and humanity she showed to him during the interview.

"The questions she asked were very fair and she was very humane in her approach," she added.

"I was searching for the words, and they weren't there. Sometimes the body gives up when you are pushing it too hard. All of that took its toll on me," he said. Mr Flanagan said it was very difficult that evening watching his party leader Lucinda Creighton on the 'Late Late Show', as he felt he had let her and other party colleagues down.

"It was terrible moment. I felt I let down my colleagues, my family and myself. It was a tough few days," he said.

Mr Flanagan namechecked Fine Gael Senators Tony Mulcahy and Martin Conway, Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney and Senator Terry Leydon as those who were most supportive of him in the wake of the disastrous interview.

He said that in the moments after the interview finished many people, including porters in Leinster House, were very kind to him and that he was greatly encouraged by the sympathy shown him by members of the public.

Mr Flanagan said he deliberately chose to do the interview live rather than pre-record it.

Irish Independent

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