Fianna Fáil politician Mark Daly told the Seanad this evening that he believed Mr Kenny met Mr McNulty at an engagement in Sligo during which the vacant seat was discussed.
The Kerry senator suggested the Taoiseach may have “promised” the Fine Gael candidacy to Mr McNulty during the engagement at Lissadell House.
“On the 20th June this year, the Taoiseach visited Sligo for the opening of Lissadell House. And during that visit I believe Mr McNulty met him with a delegation and that the issue of the Seanad by-election was discussed,” Mr Daly said.
“Maybe the minister could confirm if that meeting took place and if in fact the issue of the by-election was discussed and if Mr McNulty was assured, despite the many torturous interviews that were held and the many people that were lobbying for the job and if at that particular meeting on the 20 June in Sligo, that the Taoiseach promised Mr McNulty this Seanad by-election seat for him,” he added.
But in a statement this evening, a spokesman for the Taoiseach said the candidacy was not discussed with Mr McNulty until September.
The spokesman confirmed that Mr Kenny was at Lissadell on the date in question, adding that he met “hundreds of guests in attendance”.
“The Taoiseach attended Lissadell House on the 20th of June this year where he met and shook hands with many of the hundreds of guests in attendance. The first and only time the Taoiseach discussed Mr McNulty’s potential Seanad candidacy with him was in early September.”
Niall O Connor