HQ investigated recording at Strokestown meeting
Fianna Fáil headquarters were asked to investigate the alleged secret recording of a party meeting in north Roscommon earlier this year.
The practice has been condemned by a local party official and a local councillor, who described it as an “outrage”.
This is the latest twist in a crisis that has engulfed Fianna Fáil recently.
Currently the party is investigating complaints made by Cllr. John Keogh against Cllrs. Paddy Kilduff and Ivan Connaughton, his south Roscommon colleagues. His complaints do not relate to the recording controversy.
On being contacted by the Roscommon People, the recording controversy was confirmed this week by Mary Clifford, the secretary of Fianna Fáil in the Boyle Local Electoral Area (LEA).
She said: “It was alleged there was a recording made of a conversation at a Boyle LEA meeting in the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown, on January 22.
“We reported that detail to the headquarters of the party.”
Ms Clifford said that she did not approve of the practice.
She added: “As far as I am concerned, you cannot tape any meeting unless you actually specifically state that you are taping the meeting and that it is for your own personal reasons…
“In other words, if I recorded a meeting, I should not divulge, strictly speaking, what was in the recording. It would be for my information only.”
Ms Clifford refused to disclose the outcome of the Fianna Fail investigation into the matter.
“It is a party issue,” she said. “As far as we are concerned, the matter is closed. It was dealt with in the appropriate way.”
However, Cllr. Ivan Connaughton disagrees.
“I believe it has been reported to headquarters, but nothing has been done since about it,” he claims. “I believe it should be investigated.”
He, too, condemned the practice.
“I think it’s an outrage,” he said. “I am aware that a meeting was recorded.”
Cllr. Connaughton said that Fianna Fail councillors – with the exception of himself – had been made aware of the content of the recording.
“I have not heard its content.”
The alleged recording of the meeting is a source of “anger” for many party members throughout the county, Cllr. Connaughton said.
“Many of them are afraid to attend meetings or are very wary about what they might say at meetings since,” he added.
Cllr. Kilduff declined to comment on the matter.
Cllr. Keogh told the Roscommon People: “I am aware that there is apparently a recording, but, obviously, I wasn’t at the meeting (it is not his area), so I am not in a position to make any comment in relation to its content.”