Thursday 17 October 2019

Principal denies political agenda in TD newspaper row

Principal Tomas O Dulaing
Principal Tomas O Dulaing

Fergus Black and Mark O'Regan

A SCHOOL principal involved in a row with a Dublin TD over a school extension has denied he has a political agenda.

It follows the launch of a garda investigation after a parliamentary assistant to Fine Gael TD Derek Keating was allegedly caught on CCTV taking, and dumping, free newspapers from several shops.

CCTV footage appears to show Mr Keating's assistant, Tommy Morris, taking bundles of the 'Lucan Gazette' newspaper from a local shop.

The west Dublin newspaper had published a story about a row between Mr Keating and Griffeen Valley Educate Together school principal Tomas O Dulaing over claims by the TD that he had "initiated and delivered" an extension to the school.

Mr O Dulaing, a member of the United Left Alliance (ULA), denied having a political agenda.

Publishers Dublin Gazette Newspapers said it has received CCTV footage of newspapers being removed from seven stores.

"The case is very strong and we've tried get in contact with the people involved but there's been no reply," Gazette managing director Michael McGovern told the Irish Independent.

"We will protect our readers and advertisers from things like this. It's just not nice. It's a direct form of censorship to a degree."

Yesterday, Mr O Dulaing said he was a member of the ULA but he had not sought to hide his membership and strongly rejected that he had a political agenda against the TD.


"When somebody comes out and makes claims in relation to a building that they had nothing to do with, surely that can be judged on its own merit," he told Pat Kenny's radio show.

Gardai have confirmed that an investigation was under way into the alleged removal of newspapers over the past week.

Mr Keating said that to state he had nothing to do with the extension at the school was "totally incorrect" in a letter read out on the radio show.

Irish Independent

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