And there’s right royal rumpus over the decision by the party to kick the Donegal man out of the party – with one insider claiming the decision was timed to coincide with the visit of Britain’s queen Elizabeth to Ireland.
Other pro-Slowey factions say that if Donegal North East TD Joe McHugh can make a genuine mistake in his expenses – then so can Cllr Slowey.
The Ardara county councillor was booted out of the party on May 4th after a disciplinary hearing which heard how he claimed double expenses for two conventions in Cork and Kerry on the same day.
Cllr Slowey claimed it was an honest oversight and that he immediately refunded more than €1,000 he received in expenses for travelling to the second convention.
A number of Fine Gael members have contacted donegaldaily to express fury at the decision.
“Sure they announced his appeal had been refused just as the queen was arriving. Talk about a good time to bury bad news,” said one irate party supporter.
“Terence made a mistake and we believe it was a genuine mistake. The party has failed to even listen to his argument or the feelings of the grassroots, especially around Ardara.”
Another party insider pointed to a double expenses claim by Donegal North East TD Joe McHugh when he and his wife both accidentally claimed for overnight stays in Dublin.
“No-one called for McHugh to go,” said the source, “and nor would we over a genuine mistake.
“The amount of money is not the issue. One mistake is one mistake and the party hierarchy have got this badly wrong.”
At the time Cllr Slowey refused to stand down from the party or his council position.
He also said he had paid the price for the mistake as he had planned to stand in the last general election but could not do so because of the controversy.
A meeting of Donegal County Council failed to ask for Cllr Slowey’s removal from the local authority despite calls from Sinn Fein for him to be expelled.
However in a statement his own party’s disciplinary committee said Cllr Slowey had breached party guidelines.
They said they had no option but to expel him from the party after he “acted in a manner detrimental to the interests of the party.”Tags: