Fianna Fáil TD objects to party colleague's RWC bid comments

A leading Fianna Fáil TD has strongly objected to comments made by his party colleague that those behind Ireland's failed Rugby World Cup bid “couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery”, writes Irish Examiner political editor, Daniel McConnell.

In the Dail on Wednesday, Meath West TD Shane Cassells lashed the comments made by veteran Senator Terry Leyden as “insulting and disgraceful”. Speaking during questions to the Minister for Sport, Shane Ross on the failed bid to host the competition in 2023, Mr Cassells began by excoriating his colleague.

“First, what was said in the Seanad last Thursday about the Irish bid was disgraceful and wrong. It was an insult and disrespectful to the efforts of Kevin Potts, Philip Orr, Dick Spring, Brian O'Driscoll, Philip Browne, Paraic Duffy, the Minister, Deputy Ross and others,” he said.

“Rather than dismiss the decision last week by World Rugby as an opportunity lost there is merit in discussing it given the Government spend of over €1 million of taxpayers' money. At the end of the day, this came down to pure old horse trading and a vote between lads and blazers - which are not my words but those of men on the inside track, such as Jim Glennon,” he added.

Mr Ross thanked Mr Cassells for his remarks and offered his congratulations to France on its victory.

“Wednesday's result was disappointing, particularly after the years of work put into the bid. However, in our disappointment, we should not lose sight of the fact that the technical report found that Ireland would be an excellent host country for a Rugby World Cup,” he said.

“I take this opportunity thank Fianna Fáil for ignoring the remarks in the Seanad and to also thank it, Sinn Féin and the Independents for their support for the bid. We had some very constructive debate on the Bill which I introduced in this House. We did have the support of the Opposition, which was critical,” he added.

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