Fine Gael MEP criticised for calling FF the ‘old enemy’
Niall Collins attacks Brian Hayes for ‘arrogant’ and ‘out of touch’ comments on party
Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has been criticised for calling Fianna Fáil the ‘old enemy’. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
Mr Collins said the comments by Mr Hayes were “arrogant” and reminiscent of statements by former minister for the environment Phil Hogan.
Mr Collins said: “We know Brian Hayes is over in Brussels and he is probably spending too much time with Phil Hogan because he is taking to adopting some of the quotes Phil Hogan had at the previous election.
“I think he is really out of touch in terms of the mood of this country . . . first of all it is hugely arrogant the way he is addressing the public.
“Genuine Fianna Fáil supporters and people who are switching back to us aren’t going to be fooled by Brian Hayes borrowing the clothes of Phil Hogan.”
In an interview on Monday, Mr Hayes said voters needed to vote for Fine Gael because Fianna Fáil remained the old enemy.
Mr Collins said the MEP was taking comfort from one opinion poll, from “the leafy suburbs of Brussels”.
Speaking at Leinster House on Monday, Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O’Brien said Mr Hayes was a very self-confident individual but that nobody believed him.
He said voters would not be swayed by the comments and that Mr Hayes’s statement would assist Fianna Fáil.
Mr O’Brien said the party would show up Fine Gael and Labour when it came to policies.