Deputy Michael Lowry
Labour Leader Brendan Howlin taken to task by Holycross TD for his 'nasty and offensive' comments.
The Tipperary Star featured prominently during the election of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dail Eireann when Labour Leader Brendan Howlin took Deputy Michael Lowry to task over comments he made in relation to access to Government arising out of his decision to vote for Mr Varadkar.
Deputy Lowry had told The Tipperary Star that he had held “two discussions’’ with Leo Varadkar before deciding to vote for him as Taoiseach. And, he told the Dáil yesterday, in response to a swipe from the Labour Leader that the conversations related to the programme for government, and policies which he hoped Mr Varadkar would support.
“On the basis of those two discussions I had with him, I am very happy to support him as Taoiseach and to continue to support this Government, particularly on budgetary matters,’’ he added.
The Government has consistently denied it has any special arrangement with Mr Lowry in return for his support. And, the Holycross TD reacted sharply to a demand from Deputy Howlin that Mr Varadkar end contact with him.
Labour TD's Brendan Howlin and Alan Kelly, who were in the dock on Dail Eireann after Deputy Michael Lowry tore strips off of them.
“He should not depend on Deputy Lowry’s support,’’ Mr Howlin added, claiming that in this week’s Tipperary Star he would have access to the Taoiseach’s office, his officials and ministers in return for his support.
However, Deputy Lowry responded to the comments which he described as being “nasty and offensive’’, adding the Labour leader’s words had been prompted by Tipperary Labour TD Alan Kelly.
“That would be very typical of his reaction to me in my county,’’ he Deputy Lowry said adding that Mr Howlin had insulted the Tipperary people who had voted for him.
“I remind you, Deputy Howlin, like every member of this House here today, I have a democratic mandate from the people of Tipperary who have voted for me consistently and put me as their representative in this House. I have enjoyed their confidence and their trust for over 30 years and I hope when the next election is called they will re-endorse me as a member of this parliament,’’ he said adding that he had the same entitlement to access the systems of government as any other TD.
The swipe at Deputy Lowry by Mr Howlin received much commentary on social media overnight, with many stating that it was petty, inappropriate and not the time nor the occasion to air such views. Indeed, Deputy Lowry told The Tipperary Star that he had received many positive comments from the general public and from TD's in Dail Eireann for his response to Mr Howlin.