Origin of Oireachtas envelopes unknown

FIANNA FÁIL’S investigation into the Lorcan Allen affair failed to discover where the councillor got the 2,000 Oireachtas prepaid envelopes he used to send out his bogus letters.

Yesterday the former TD and Junior Minister resigned his position on committees of Wexford County Council, but he remains a fully-fledged public representative.

Last week, Cllr Allen was kicked out of the party for a year and removed from the Fianna Fáil national executive after admitting to distributing a bogus letter, purportedly signed by the Taoiseach, to voters before the local elections.

But the investigation carried out by Fianna Fáil general secretary Seán Dorgan didn’t even identify the TDs or Senators who gave the councillor the €1,000 worth of envelopes paid for by the taxpayer.

Last night a Fianna Fáil spokesperson said the inquiry into Cllr Allen is now closed but party headquarters still could not find out where he got the envelopes.

Arriving at County Hall in Wexford Town yesterday, Cllr Allen wasn’t in the mood to reveal who gave him the envelopes.

“Mind your own business,” he replied to questions about the origin of the stationery.

At the start of yesterday’s county council meeting, Cllr Allen said in a brief statement that he wished to tender his resignation from the committees until his suspension is lifted.

The suspension set by the FF national executive is due to be reviewed in 12 months’ time.

While council members rejected efforts to have the bogus letter affair debated at the last meeting, yesterday a number of other councillors welcomed Cllr Allen’s decision as the correct one to take.

Although his activities will be restricted as a result of his resignation from the council committees, Councillor Allen remains a member of Wexford County Council and is fully entitled to claim normal allowances and expenses.

As a result of the bogus letter affair, Fianna Fáil’s ruling body also agreed to draw up tough new rules for candidates’ behaviour during election campaigns and a review of the party organization in Wexford.

The 12-month suspension arose from a recommendation by Fianna Fáil’s rules and procedures committee and a report on an investigation into the affair by FF general secretary Seán Dorgan.

The bogus letter, produced and distributed by Cllr Allen in the run-up to the local elections, featured a copy of the signature of Mr Ahern endorsing the Gorey based councillor as a hard-working and honest candidate.

According to a list of the councillor’s membership of other bodies, produced by Wexford County Council, Cllr Allen was until yesterday a member of or represented the council on the following:

South East Regional Authority; South East Regional Authority board of directors; County Development Board; Strategic Policy Committee; Corporate Policy Group; Protocol Committee; Rural Water Monitoring Committee; Courtown Waterworld and the Local Authorities Members’ Association.

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