Ridge: I’m being used as scapegoat over payments

A Fine Gael councillor named in the Mahon Report has claimed she is being used as a Quarryvale payments “scapegoat” while more senior officials facing “identical” questions are cleared of wrongdoing.

Therese Ridge staunchly defended her reputation last night after a Fine Gael committee set up in response to the Mahon Tribunal revelations found her guilty of bring the party into disrepute last Thursday.

The South Dublin County Council member has been given until this Thursday to resign from any committee connected to her local government position.

Failure to do so will result in her removal from Fine Gael on July 1. She has until June 9 to appeal.

Cllr Ridge, who received an unsolicited £1,000 donation from Frank Dunlop in 1992, last night insisted she did nothing wrong.

The same internal inquiry cleared TD Olivia Mitchell, despite Mahon concluding that she also received an unsolicited £500 donation from Mr Dunlop.

“I am hurt, shocked and angry at the manner in which I have been treated by my own party,” said Ms Ridge. “I am roundly criticised for failing to declare the payment in advance of voting in favour of the Quarryvale project.

“In contrast, no adverse comment, much less finding, was made against Olivia Mitchell who voted for Quarryvale without making any declaration of interest.

“On the face of it, this discrepancy is inexplicable.”


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