PRESIDENTIAL candidate Sean Gallagher has rejected claims he was closely connected with Fianna Fail right up to January of this year.
It has emerged today that the Independent hopeful formally wrote to the party in January informing its general secretary that he was "regrettably" quitting.
The letter seemingly contradicts Mr Gallagher's previous claims that he withdrew himself from the party in 2009.
In the letter, sent to the party's general secretary Sean Dorgan on January 5, 2011, Mr Gallagher wrote: "I wish to inform you of my decision to resign the position of constituency delegate to the National Executive for Co Louth.
"As you are aware, I am touring the country at the moment at the request of many communities, business associations, sectoral groups, chambers of commerce, banks, colleges and State agencies, speaking to and helping to motivate and sustain individual companies and communities in their efforts to create essential jobs and enterprises."
He added: "It has, in recent times, proved increasingly difficult for me to attend CDC (Comhairle Dail Ceantair) meetings and so, in the interest of allowing someone else take up the position, I am regrettably resigning as constituency delegate."
However, a spokesperson for Mr Gallagher today rejected claims he had been dishonest about when he quit Fianna Fail.
He told the Herald that while Mr Gallagher only formally tendered his resignation this year, he had "removed himself" from the party since 2009.
"Sean has never denied his links to Fianna Fail, he has never stood away from his past.
"While he may have only formally written to the party in January, he informed them in 2009 that he would no longer have any involvement in Fianna Fail.
"Any suggestion that Sean has got his dates mixed up is completely false."