FG leader denies giving Seanad nod to McNulty four months ago

Irish Independent

The result of the Seanad by-election will be known tomorrow, but the Taoiseach continues to come under pressure over the nomination of Mr McNulty and his appointment to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).

Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly claimed in the Seanad that Mr Kenny met Mr McNulty at an engagement in Sligo on June 20, during which the vacant Seanad seat was discussed.

Mr Daly said the Taoiseach may have “promised” the Fine Gael candidacy to Mr McNulty at the opening of Lissadell House.

“During that visit I believe Mr McNulty met him with a delegation and that the issue of the Seanad by-election was discussed,” he said.

But the Taoiseach’s spokesman said the candidacy was not discussed with Mr McNulty until September.

The spokesman confirmed 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 June 20 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,” he said.

Meanwhile, Independent candidate Gerard Craughwell has become the new bookies’ favourite to win the Seanad by-election.

Persistent bets on Mr Craughwell yesterday forced leading bookmakers Paddy Power to slash his odds from 13-8 to 4-6, with early favourite Mr McNulty pushed out from 4-9 to 11-10. At one stage, Mr McNulty was a firm 1-5 bet to take the Seanad seat.

The outcome of the by-election still hangs in the balance.

Niall O Connor and Tom Brady

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