SEAN Gallagher was a regular attendee at Fianna Fail dinners and even popped up once in the infamous Galway tent.
The independent election candidate has again had to distance himself from his old party after the Herald reported how he launched former minister Dara Calleary's election campaign earlier this year.
In February, Mr Gallagher said that the Mayo TD was the "face of change" that would fix the country's problems.
He has now defended being part of the Fianna Fail's General Election campaign, stating that Mr Calleary was a "young candidate" and "what we need to encourage is young people in".
It emerged today that the Dragon's Den personality attended several fundraising events for Fianna Fail in recent years, including a function at the now defunct Galway tent.
A spokeswoman confirmed that he attended the Galway races about five or six years ago and visited the Fianna Fail tent.
Attention turned to Mr Gallagher's past with the party after he refused to criticise it during Wednesday's Prime Time debate. It was also reported today that a company associated with Mr Gallagher received cash from a State enterprise quango that he served on.
He was appointed to the board of the North-South body Intertrade Ireland in 2007 -- and accounts for that year reveal that they gave €41,970 to his Smart Homes company.