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Ridge in Mahon scapegoat claim

A FINE Gael councillor who lost the party whip after the Mahon Report has claimed she was 'scapegoated' while Olivia Mitchell escaped scot-free.

Therese Ridge blasted her party and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, saying she should have been cleared of wrongdoing.

She criticised the Fine Gael disciplinary committee that met to rule on the findings of Mahon in relation to payments from lobbyist Frank Dunlop to Ridge and Mitchell that were deemed inappropriate.

In a statement to the Herald today, Cllr Ridge makes comparisons between the two cases. She said they both received donations towards electoral expenses in 1992.

"Olivia Mitchell voted in favour of both Quarryvale motions. The time lapse between the donation and her vote is identical. She also voted without a declaration of interest.

"Unlike my case she does not appear to have been even criticised much less the subject of a finding that she has damaged the party by not making such a declaration," Cllr Ridge stated.

"This omission appears irreconcilable with the determination in my case," she added.

The FG committee said Cllr Ridge must resign within a week, from committees associated with her role as a public representative or party membership will be ended on July 1.