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Martin turns to Herald amid Mahon crisis

EMBATTLED Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has been turning to the Herald to find out what the opposition are up to.

The TD, who has repeatedly come under attack in recent days for being in Bertie Ahern's "inner circle", told the Dail last night that Fine Gael is trying to turn the Mahon Tribunal report into a political game.

Pointing to this newspaper's coverage of the Mahon report, Mr Martin said: "In last Friday's edition of the Evening Herald, Fine Gael sources were quite open in saying that their strategy in response to Mahon is simply to try and inflict as much political damage as possible arising from the report's publication.

"Part of this has been to promote the idea that everyone must have known and refused to say anything." The Herald had reported how Fine Gael hierarchy had given ministers and TDs a detailed briefing on Mr Martin's connections to the tribunal.

The party strategy was to target Mr Martin in an effort to totally destabilise Fianna Fail. Sources told the Herald that they were to promote the idea that the he "was politically reared by and remained unquestionably loyal to two national leaders, both of whom accepted large sums of money".