OUTSPOKEN TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has refused to apologise to a councillor he berated in a series of emails -- and now claims she is partly responsible for children "going to school hungry".
In a bizarre attack on Wicklow Town councillor Pat Kavanagh, the Roscommon TD accused her of prying into his private life after she asked all Oireachtas members whether they would be attending the Euro 2012 championships during Dail sitting time.
The Herald yesterday detailed a series of emails sent by the controversial politician in which he remarked about Cllr Kavanagh's jewellery and slated her for the nature of the query.
"Anyways I am now off to run 10k for charity.
"Is that alright with you or must one check in with you before on [sic] breathes?" he wrote.
"I notice on your website that you are wearing a chain that looks 'gold'. I am jealous I don't have any gold. Is it real and if so where did you get the cash for it?"
Cllr Kavanagh, who is a member of the new political party Fis Nua, said she was "insulted" and "outraged" by the contents of the emails.
She said: "I like every citizen have the right to ask a question of our TDs. Nobody should be above reproach or accountability. This is not the way to deal with the public. Some of what Deputy Flanagan wrote was the height of bad manners."
Now, in a statement to this newspaper, Deputy Flanagan attacked the councillor over her former membership to the Green party, adding that she is party responsible for "children going to school hungry".
"When Pat Kavanagh writes and looks for personal information she dresses it up as being in the public interest. When I ask her for personal information it is apparently some sort of an attack. I am glad she gets the point. Looking for personal information is an attack. What I do in my spare time is my own business.
"She also expresses fake concern for the poor. It is thanks to people like Pat who felt it acceptable to align themselves with Fianna Fail that there are now children going to school hungry.
"Asking personal questions of members of the current Dail in order to get cheap publicity is not going to do anything to get this country out of the hell that Pat and her former government colleagues in Fianna Fail have caused."
Deputy Flanagan did not respond to a follow up query as to whether he deemed the contents of the emails to be appropriate.