Councillors keep the pressure on Allen

Serious questions remain to be answered about Fianna Fáil’s Lorcan Allen and the bogus letter affair, county councillors said yesterday.

Wexford County councillors reiterated calls for Mr Allen’s resignation, despite action from FF, and called for an investigation into who else was involved in distributing 2,500 letters, featuring the forged signature of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Mr Allen, a former junior minister and sitting Wexford County Council member, was suspended from the party for a year late on Thursday night.

He was also expelled from his position on the Fianna Fáil National Executive.

Mr Allen admitted a fortnight ago that he sent out letters, purporting to be from the Taoiseach, urging voters in Gorey to give him their number one votes.

He declined to comment yesterday, saying he had nothing further to add.

However, tension is mounting ahead of the next council meeting on Monday.

Independent councillor Eddie Colfer said the electorate still needs to know:

Who put together the bogus letter.

Where the Oireachtas envelopes and headed paper came from.

Who was involved in mailing out the 2,000 plus envelopes to voters, 48 hours before the county council election.

“This is not punishment enough. We want to know if Enda Kenny and Pat Rabitte are condoning this, seeing as Fine Gael and Labour backed Lorcan Allen on all the various committees to which he was appointed. Why was he allowed onto all of these committees when an inquiry was going on?” Mr Colfer asked.

“Lorcan Allen should be asked to step down from the county council altogether. We can’t have people like that representing the people. He didn’t write all these letters himself.”

Mr Allen’s unsuccessful running mate Pat Rath said he takes no joy from what has happened. “Now is a time for change and we can never return to the political ‘stunts’ of the past.

“There is no sense of triumph in what has happened. It is a sad day for Fianna Fáil,” he said.

“It’s a pity that we’ve found ourselves in this situation. Lorcan and I shook hands a few nights ago and I know he will sincerely regret in the future what has happened here.”

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