herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Now Wallace heads for Dail list of shame

MICK Wallace was today braced for the most humiliating moment of his political career -- when he is placed on a censure list that once contained names such as Michael Lowry and Liam Lawlor.

The under-fire TD has been kicked into the political wilderness after 10 members of the Dail Technical Group demanded he stepped aside.

And senior Coalition sources today indicated that it is "virtually certain" the ex-developer will be subject to a Dail motion of censure.

The rare move would see Mick Wallace join a list containing controversial names such as disgraced Tipperary TD Michael Lowry -- who was censured after the damning findings of the Moriarty Tribunal.

And it would heap further pressure on Mick Wallace to resign his Dail seat -- a move, however, that he appears to be resisting.

The five whips of the Dail will meet at lunchtime, where it is likely they will agree to put a motion of censure to TDs.

The most senior member of this group, Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe, told the Herald this morning:

Censure

"All whips will be meeting this lunchtime and we will be looking at all available options in relation to future action."

The Herald understands that an all-party motion of censure will be recommended, with sources indicating that is "virtually certain" to be passed.

Mr Wallace has refused to speak to the media for several days after it was revealed he deliberately underpaid €1.4m worth of VAT to the Revenue Commissioners.

His local newspaper, The Wexford Echo, -- for which he writes a weekly column -- today carried the headline: 'I'm Staying'.

And his sister Chrissie Harper said the controversy has left her brother "gutted".

"It just means everything to him. His heart and soul is in the Dail. He loves it."

Despite it being highly unlikely that the former builder will resign his Dail seat, the tax scandal has left his political reputation in tatters.

He has now effectively been given the boot from the Dail Technical Group -- despite the fact the group is not even a political party.

Neither Mr Wallace nor his spokesman were available for comment today.

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