FG cancels celebratory photocall as Rabbitte calls it 'silly'

Cormac Murphy

FINE Gael has embarrassingly called off an event to mark its achievements in Government after it was branded "silly" by Pat Rabbitte.

The Minister for Communications said the planned gathering was "a bit silly", adding he hoped it was a "once off".

"I only heard about it this morning. I must say I think it's a bit silly and I hope it's a once off," Labour's Mr Rabbitte said in advance of the event, describing it as "partisan gaiety".

Within half an hour, Fine Gael had issued a press release stating the photocall was cancelled.

The event at Merrion Square in Dublin city centre was to see the party's TDs and senators holding "coloured stars detailing significant Fine Gael achievements in Government".

It was to come ahead of the first anniversary tomorrow of the coalition taking office.

But a party statement said: "It was presumed that the Labour Party would be planning an event, similar to the one scheduled by Fine Gael, to mark the party's first year in Government.

"When it was discovered that this was not the case, it was deemed inappropriate to proceed. Fine Gael and Labour are working hard in Government to get the country back on track.

"Much progress has been made in our first year in office but we realise that a difficult road still lies ahead.

"We are committed to meeting the challenges facing the country head on."