herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

FG's Feighen 'hit me with a grade 1 elbow'

FINE Gael TD Frank Feighen gave a "grade one" elbow during an altercation on Friday, according to Independent by-election candidate John McDermott.

The incident occurred as Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrived in the town to canvass with his party's candidate, Maria Hopkins, and a number of protesters approached his car.

Mr McDermott, who is involved in the local action group that opposed the closure of the accident and emergency department at Roscommon Hospital, gave a formal statement about the incident to gardai on Saturday night.

"I have had a few elbows in my time, but that was grade one," said Mr McDermott .

"I am a bit sore in the stomach, and the gardai said I should see a GP to make sure, and I probably will. But he elbowed me with force. It was a forceful attack."

Mr McDermott said he suffered another blow on his back from an unidentified person, which was not visible on the television footage.

He also accused Mr Feighen of making a "half-hearted media apology".

"He hasn't contacted me, he never contacted me. Had he done so then I would have forgotten all about it. But he went on local radio accusing me of attacking him," said Mr McDermott.

feared

Mr Feighen yesterday reiterated his regret for what had happened, but refused to offer an outright apology to Mr McDermott.

He was firm in his refusal to apologise, saying this was a politically-motivated row.

Mr Feighen said he had feared the Taoiseach would have been confronted in a physical manner, and added that Mr McDermott "knows where I am if he wants" his apology.

hnews@herald.ie

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