Fine Gael town councillor and county council candidate Cllr Brendan Henaghan has lashed out at his town council colleague Labour Cllr Harry Barrett for what he says is “continuously using criticism of An Taoiseach to pursue his own political agenda and getting cheap publicity”.
Henaghan went on to say: “I’ve had enough of Cllr Barrett’s bleating and the adverse publicity has led to Fine Gael public representatives being abused both privately and in public. I myself was virtually assaulted after a council function one night and only for the intervention of a member of the public a potentially nasty situation was averted.”
Cllr Henaghan said that he understood that people are frustrated and angry, but it’s not as simple as the Taoiseach telling a company to open up a factory in Castlebar. “None of us are immune to the effects economic situation and there is a huge level of expectation when you have the Taoiseach from your town. I think people get angry when they see the Taoiseach opening a factory in another part of the country and ask ‘why can’t he do that in Castlebar’. The reality is that he is opening that outlet as head of State and had nothing to do with opening in a particular location, there’s a bit more to a serious business choosing a location than the Taoiseach picking up the phone and saying, my hometown’s a great place why don’t you come here.”
He concluded: “I’m asking people to look beyond the headlines before making rash judgements on people’s efforts.”