FG councillor claims he was warned not to give evidence

Sligo councillor Hubert Keaney has alleged in correspondence he was pressed not to testify

 

A Fine Gael councillor has claimed he was warned his political ambitions would be damaged if he gave evidence in a court case against the party.

Sligo councillor Hubert Keaney has alleged in correspondence with Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran that he was pressurised by party officials not to testify against Fine Gael in a High Court case taken by former TD John Perry.

Mr Perry took the case against the party before the last general election after he failed to be selected at a convention as an election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim.

He was later added to the ticket, but failed to retain his Dáil seat.

Mr Perry and Mr Keaney have both written to Fine Gael outlining their concerns over the party’s actions in the run-up to the High Court case.

The Irish Times understands Mr Keaney has also written to Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes making a number of allegations against officials.

It is understood the councillor claims he was urged not to give evidence against the party and warned it could affect his political career if he did so.

Mr Hayes, who was the party’s director of elections, has responded to the correspondence but declined to comment when contacted yesterday.

Concerns

He declined to comment when contacted by The Irish Times.

Fine Gael has sent the allegations to their legal advisers who are understood to be preparing a robust response to them.

The legal team has advised party members not to make any public comment on the matter.

The party’s trustees considered the correspondence at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Claims

A Fine Gael spokeswoman said the party would be making no comment on the allegations.

“This case has been before the courts and has now been concluded. As such, we have no further comment to make on the matter,” he said.

It is understood Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Curran have been kept informed of the developments in the case.

The six-day court case is believed to have cost the party in the region of €500,000. It was settled out of court.