FG disputes claim that former CRC chair a ‘lifelong’ member

Des Peelo outraged at comments from Shane Ross saying he was part of Fianna Fáil ‘cabal’

Mr Des Peelo at the Moriarty Tribunal in Dublin Castle yesterday. Pic : Bryan O'Brien  30/5/01

Mr Des Peelo at the Moriarty Tribunal in Dublin Castle yesterday. Pic : Bryan O'Brien 30/5/01

Tue, Dec 3, 2013, 17:22

Fine Gael is disputing claims by Des Peelo, a former chairman of the Central Remedial Clinic closely associated with former taoisigh Charles Haughey and Bertie Ahern, that he was a “lifelong” member of the party.

Mr Peelo said he objected to claims by Independent TD Shane Ross that he was part of a Fianna Fáil “cabal” because of his association with Mr Ahern and Mr Haughey.

He said he was, in fact, a Fine Gael member but the party has claimed it has no record of this.

Mr Peelo, an accountant who servced as a CRC governor for 24 years, represented both former Fianna Fáil leaders during tribunal hearings but said he was “outraged” by Mr Ross’s comments.

Mr Peelo did not return calls from The Irish Times last night.

“Speaking on a personal level, I am outraged at the comments of Shane Ross and the suggestions that he has made about the improprieties,” Mr Peelotold RTÉ radio. “And, by the way, just to lighten the moment, Shane Ross has included me as some Fianna Fáil cabal because of my obvious friendships with Bertie Ahern and Charlie Haughey. Just speaking personally to get my dig in back at him, I have been a lifelong member of Fine Gael.”

However, in response to queries from The Irish Times, Fine Gael claimed it has no records of Mr Peelo being a member.

“We have no record of Mr Peelo having been a member and our database goes back 20 years,” a Fine Gael spokesman said. “Our electronic database goes back to 1993.”

Party sources said they had also asked long standing party members but no-one could recollect Mr Peelo being involved.

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