WARRING Fine Gael European election candidates Sean Kelly and Colm Burke have clashed over the appearance of the former GAA president at a party for an independent TD supporting the Government.
Mr Kelly’s courtship of his old friend, Michael Lowry TD, angered Fine Gael supporters in north Tipperary, part of the Ireland South Euro constituency where both men want a seat.
But Mr Kelly defended his decision to attend the Tipperary function organised to celebrate independent Mr Lowry’s 21st anniversary in the Dáil.
It came after Mr Kelly invited Mr Lowry’s surrogates to a meeting of Fine Gael’s north Tipperary executive to plan for his and Mr Burke’s campaign.
This week the north Tipperary executive met again and discussed the issue.
While there was no vote taken on whether to boycott the Kelly campaign dissatisfaction was aired.
Yesterday Mr Kelly was defiant. He said he was among the 1,400-strong attendance as a friend of the former FG minister, now an Independent deputy, and because of their long connection in the GAA.
Mr Kelly told Radio Kerry he would not reject Mr Lowry’s endorsement of his candidacy. Mr Burke said he would not have attended the event and maintained backing Mr Lowry was akin to supporting Brian Cowen and the FF Government.
“I believe that someone who is giving support to Lowry is endorsing what Cowen is doing,” he said.
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