Golfgate organizer Donie Cassidy has raised eyebrows with a campaign to become vice president of Fianna Fáil this weekend.
The role would nominally make him No. 2 to party leader Micheál Martin, who controls the party.
Mr Cassidy, who recently turned 77, is a hotelier and former show band promoter who drew public ire by helping organize an August 2020 Oireachtas Golf Society trip to the Station House Hotel.
However, Mr Cassidy and three other defendants, including Galway West Independent TD Noel Grealish, were fully confirmed in their actions after a arraignment in District Court, with a judge finding they had acted fully within the law at all times.
The hotel itself was managed by the Irish Hotels Federation.
Mr. Cassidy, who was a leader of the Seanad in the days of Charlie Haughey, tells members of the party in a personal email: “I am a lifetime member of Fianna Fáil responsible for organizing locally and nationally in worked many election campaigns.
“I believe this gives me excellent working knowledge of the organization across the country.
“I have a proud track record in representative politics, having served as MP, Senator and Councilor of Fianna Fáil and having the privilege of being appointed Chair of the Senate for two terms.”
If elected Vice-President, Mr Cassidy promises to “work closely with the Ard Comhairle-level party leadership to build on our election results and campaign successfully in the future
A TD, who forwarded the email, said: “Some might think he has a brass neck but his staying power has to be admired.
“Forty years ago he was a senator – 40! And he wants to be present at all elections in the future as well.”
He quoted the toy story Slogan: “To infinity and beyond.”
When asked if he would vote for Mr Cassidy, the person said: “That would be telling. But the leader was a modernizer. We need to appeal to a younger generation.” A TD woman asked for her opinion and simply said, “Donie is Donie.”
Mr. Cassidy signs his letter to members: “I would be grateful for your first vote or highest possible preference on this Ard Fheis.”
However, he is not considered a favorite for the position due to two incumbent TDs seeking the honor, among others.
The field of candidates includes: Mary Butler TD (Waterford), Eamon Ó Cuív TD (Galway West), Kathryn Byrne (Dublin Bay South), Stephanie Davis O’Brien (Dublin Fingal), Arthur Griffin (Tipperary) and Aoife McCooey
Mr. Cassidy could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The 80th Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis takes place on Friday and Saturday at the RDS in Dublin.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/golfgate-organiser-donie-cassidy-campaigns-to-be-ff-vice-president-42018880.html Golfgate organizer Donie Cassidy is running for FF VP