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Sunday 21 January 2018

TD goes to ground as local voters play 'Where's Wallace?'

TD Mick Wallace is described as a 'football commentator' in a brief appearance on a German television channel yesterday.
TD Mick Wallace is described as a 'football commentator' in a brief appearance on a German television channel yesterday.

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

SPOTTING the long-haired politician in pink quickly turned into a game of 'Where's Wallace?'

Instead of a spectacle-wearing Wally in a striped jumper, all eyes in Wexford were scanning for a mop of blonde hair and a pink polo

T-shirt.

Wherever he was yesterday, in all likelihood Mick Wallace was wearing an Irish soccer jersey and cheering on the boys on green.

The underfire Independent TD called off his trip to the Euros in Poland as controversy deepened over his false declaration of VAT returns to the Revenue.

He had publicised the trip himself, and went further by identifying his 18-year-old son Joe as his reason for going.

He revealed that he couldn't let his child, and his pal, down after he promised to take them to the Ireland and Croatia game.

But in a dramatic U-turn, Mr Wallace had a change of heart and revealed he wouldn't be packing up his BMW jeep to follow the Green Army to Gdansk.

Instead, he stated that he would address the Dail when it resumes tomorrow.

The Wexford TD had decided to go back to his constituency for a period of reflection, it was reported.

Constituents were surprised at hearing this yesterday, and some revealed to the Irish Independent that Mr Wallace has not been seen locally for a number of months.

"He attends Wexford Youths games up and down but he hasn't been at the last few," one man said.

Heat

"But the season has wound down now," he added.

In his native village of Wellington Bridge, Mr Wallace's Costcutter Express, his family's filling station was selling soccer balls and souvenirs ahead of the big match.

Across the road, there was no hint that Mr Wallace had been staying in the flat above his family's business, the local Super Valu store.

Nearby, where his mother lives, there was little sign of life at the house.

Tricolours and bunting flew outside the only pub in Wellington Bridge, Tir Na nOg, while inside customers were glued to the match.

"He's a nice fella but he should never have gone for the Dail," one said.

"Ah, there's all sorts of heat on him now," he added, before explaining that Mr Wallace was "decent".

But one local woman said: "Mick should have gone to the Euros.

"What difference does it make if he stays or he goes? He said he was going, he should have gone."

Irish Independent

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