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The TD's aide, the school row and the vanishing pile of local newspapers

Something interesting in the paper, Deputy?

Shoppers could have been forgiven for thinking just that after a close aide of a TD was spotted sweeping up dozens of copies of the local newspaper.

But the TD in question, Fine Gael's Derek Keating, has been left red-faced after it emerged that his aide dumped dozens of copies of the newspaper that contained a negative story about his boss.

Keating said last night he was "shocked" and "disappointed" after his adviser, Tommy Morris, was caught on camera removing a stack of newspapers from a Lucan shop.



The Lucan Gazette carried a front-page article about a row between Deputy Keating and a local principal over a school extension.

The Dublin Mid-West TD was strongly criticised by principal Tomas O Dulaing after he claimed he had "initiated and delivered" the extension at the Griffeen Valley Educate Together school.

According to Mr O Dulaing, Mr Keating had played no part in delivering the refurbishment works – a claim the TD disputes.

The row was covered in the Lucan Gazette last week, under the headline 'Principal Blasts Keating Leaflet'.

The Herald can reveal that Mr Morris entered the local Centra store last Friday and removed dozens of copies of the publication.

Our pictures show him enter the outlet just before 9am. He lifts a stack of papers and takes them outside, before returning and taking further copies.

He then dumped the papers in a litter bin nearby.

The shop is situated yards from Mr Keating's home.

The TD said he "cannot believe" the actions of his aide.

"I am shocked and disappointed at Tommy's actions, which I had no knowledge of. I cannot believe what he did and I certainly did not direct him to do so.

"But Tommy was upset when he saw the article and must have had a rush of blood to the head. We don't believe the article was fair at all to me.

"Tommy was out in the area taking down posters depicting me as an abortionist when he entered the shop and saw the papers.

"This publication is a free sheet so there is no question of Tommy breaking the law."

Mr Morris last night confirmed that he did take the newspapers from the outlet, which he said was as a result of a "fit of anger".

The FG activist serves as a parliamentary assistant to Mr Keating in Leinster House, having previously worked as a social worker.

He was an adviser to Gay Mitchell when the now MEP served as a minister in the rainbow coalition of the Nineties.