FORMER defence minister Willie O’Dea, who slandered a local election candidate and then swore in an affidavit that he hadn’t, said last night that he intends to contest the next General Election.
Mr O’Dea said that while his wife Geraldine had advised him to “quit while I’m behind” he had decided “on mature reflection” to again seek the mandate of the people of Limerick East, the constituency he represents.
Mr O’Dea made his comments on the Late Late Show last night in an interview with Ryan Tubridy.
When asked how he felt after his resignation, the Fianna Fáil TD said: “The best way I can describe it is as if I was one of those cartoon characters that suddenly goes over a cliff... and you know that you’re suspended... and that eventually you are going to fall.”
Mr O’Dea said initially, he thought he was “home and dry” when the Government won a confidence motion in him on February 16. The Green Party had voted with Government.
However, pressure mounted on him to resign over the next 24 hours after Green Party chairman, Senator Dan Boyle wrote on Twitter, that he had “no confidence” in Mr O’Dea and declared him to be ‘compromised’. Mr O’Dea also gave a damaging interview on RTÉ radio in which he portrayed himself as a victim. He resigned two days later.
Last night Mr O’Dea said use of the word ‘victim’ in the RTÉ interview was “a poor choice”. He subsequently received phone calls saying his future was looking ominous. He said he had a sense of “foreboding”.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen then phoned him and indicated it would be very difficult for the Greens to continue in Government if the matter was not resolved.
“There was only one way to resolve it – resign,” Mr O’Dea said. He said he made the decision so as not to distract from the business of Government.
He also admitted “saying something about somebody that wasn’t correct,” which related to his telling a journalist that Sinn Féin councillor Maurice Quinlivan had a connection with a brothel, something he later denied saying in a sworn affidavit.
In relation to the Green Party, Mr O’Dea said they should be told to “stop tweeting” and Mr Boyle was “on a frolic of his own”.
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