GREEN Party candidate Grace O’Sullivan launched a scathing attack on Waterford’s outgoing TDs during a general election debate held last week.
The pre-recorded WLRfm debate, to be broadcast this (Tuesday) morning on ‘Deise AM’, took place in front of an audience of invited guests at The Park Hotel, Dungarvan last Thursday night.
Grace O’Sullivan, who stood in the 2014 European Elections, wasted no time in rounding on the three outgoing TDs who were present – John Deasy (FG), Ciara Conway (Lab) and John Halligan (Ind) while Minister Paudie Coffey (FG) had attended the previous night’s debate at Garter Lane.
During a discussion on IDA investment in Waterford, Grace O’Sullivan questioned the efforts of the outgoing TDs throughout the past five years.
She claimed that Deputy John Deasy had “underperformed for Waterford”.
“You should have a Cabinet position like Minister Coveney or Minister Varadkar,” she said.
Turning next to Deputy John Halligan, Grace O’Sullivan said his use of pre-paid Oireachtas envelopes to send out invitations to his election launch was “despicable”.
She then highlighted Deputy Ciara Conway’s Dáil attendance record, which was the subject of a recent report in The Munster Express.
Responding, Deputy John Halligan said it was “regretful” that Grace O’Sullivan had decided to engage in “personal attacks”.
“Your party and Fianna Fáil wrecked this country,” he replied.
Addressing her attendance record, Deputy Ciara Conway said she had an “agreed absence” given that her daughter had been sick. “The reason I was absent was because I am the only guardian to my child,” she said.
Deputy Conway went on to highlight how legislation relating to guardianship meant that she was the only person who could be present with her daughter in order to give medical consent.
Fellow outgoing TD John Halligan said that although he may have his political differences with Deputy Conway, he knew that she was telling the truth.
Meanwhile, Deputy John Deasy highlighted to Grace O’Sullivan that Waterford had had a cabinet minister when the country was “awash with money”.
However, he said that when his party took office, the infrastructure of Waterford was “broken” and specifically mentioned the lack of activity at both the port and airport.
Addressing the number of IDA visits to Waterford, Deputy Deasy said multi-national companies couldn’t be forced to visit specific areas.
“You can’t put a gun to their heads and bring them to a certain location. You have to have the infrastructure and environment in place first,” he said.