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Wednesday 24 January 2018

Taoiseach wasn't happy I quit, says O'Dea

Aine de Paor

FORMER Defence Minister Willie O'Dea says the Taoiseach was "not happy" to see him quit the Cabinet.

Asked if he could see himself as a minister in the future, the Fianna Fail TD replied: "The future is another country."

Mr O'Dea, who was forced to step down a week ago when it emerged that he gave false information in a sworn affidavit, said of Mr Cowen: "He had no other course but I know he was not happy about me having to resign."

Speaking to his local newspaper, the 'Limerick Post', he told of the toll that the scandal had taken on his family. "I've paid out big money, lost my job, my name has been rubbished in some elements of the media and the toll on my wife and family is terrible. My mother is 85 and I know how hard this is for her."

Mr O'Dea claimed that "in the scale of things, there were worse things I could have done -- I did pass on gossip that I had not checked out properly. But I think the punishment is a bit harsh."

The Limerick West TD said the huge support of the local electorate for him over the years was now a source of comfort.

"Yes I can take pride in that and always, rather than mixing with the rich and powerful, I've preferred to fraternise with the poor and those who need help,'' he said

Irish Independent

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