Willie O’Dea claims FF have become Invisible; well for once this is the Truth, FF Backbenchers are in hiding and the question is Why?

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TD hits out at Fianna Fáil colleagues over ‘utterly false’ claims he broke Covid rules during online meeting

14 hrs ago

TD hits out at Fianna Fáil colleagues over ‘utterly false’ claims he broke Covid rules during online meeting

A FIANNA Fáil TD has hit out at colleagues over “utterly false” claims he was in the same office as another TD, in breach of Covid rules, during a parliamentary party meeting this week.

Clare TD Cathal Crowe has written a strongly worded email to the Taoiseach, party chairman Brendan Smith and all Fianna Fáil TDs and senators to complain about leaking from party meetings.

It follows a rumour which circulated in political circles this morning that Mr Crowe and veteran Limerick TD Willie O’Dea were in the same room on separate video connections – but in breach of public health restrictions – during the online party meeting on Wednesday night.

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Mr Crowe said in his email, which has been seen by Independent.ie, that he “frustratingly” received a phone call from a journalist about the matter, saying they “had been ‘tipped off’ by an unidentified parliamentary party colleague that Willie O’Dea and I were in the same office for yesterday evening’s Zoom meeting and that we were both flaunting Covid public health guidelines by not wearing masks”.

Mr Crowe said in the email to colleagues that this was not true, that he was logged in to the meeting from his office at home, and expressed strong dissatisfaction with leaking from party meetings.

This ‘leaked’ story was utterly false – Willie and I live in separate counties. Last night I was logged in to the meeting from my home office.

“I think last night’s parliamentary party meeting, like so many others of the past year, was disappointing to say the least.

“How can our party expect to be on an upward trajectory when far too much time is expended on leaking, sniping at colleagues, spreading ‘fake news’ and ridiculous carry-on like that.”

Mr Crowe had earlier tweeted about the issue, saying it was a “rather ridiculous story” and describing it as “fake news”.

Mr Crowe, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on tourism and aviation, said the fact his email had been leaked to Independent.ie within minutes of it being sent this evening was indicative of the problem.

“I shouldn’t be surprised that this again is a case in point that no communication, whether it’s virtual, face to face or in writing, is truly private in any form.

“It’s very frustrating. It was such a ridiculous thing about last night. I was at home in my home office running up and down the stairs trying to get Calpol into my two-year-old.

“To say I was in another colleague’s office was silly and frustrating.”

Mr O’Dea said: “We certainly weren’t [in the same office] unless he was invisible. Obviously somebody from the parliamentary party said that, which is quite irresponsible. It’s a complete fabrication. Cathal was operating out of his office at home, I was operating out of my office in Farranshore in Limerick.”

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