James Bannon Insists He Was Just Minding Sinn Féin’s Leaflets
FINE Gael TD James Bannon has refuted any claims of wrongdoing surrounding an incident in his Longford-Westmeath constituency last night, claiming that his team only grabbed up as many Sinn Féin leaflets as they could to prevent them from being lost or damaged.
Sinn Féin hopeful Paul Hogan had claimed that one of Bannon’s canvassers was seen removing Sinn Féin leaflets from letterboxes in the Creevaghbeg estate in Ballymahon, and had “pockets full” of rival candidate’s election propaganda when apprehended.
Gardaí attended the scene and questioned the canvasser, leading to Deputy Bannon issuing a statement clarifying the bizarre matter.
“It gets very windy around here and I was just worried that Mr. Hogan’s leaflets would be blown away in the wind,” said Bannon, a TD since 2007.
“I’m just trying to help, to be honest. What if it rained, and Mr. Hogan’s brochures got wet and people couldn’t read them? Tell me how that helps anyone. A lot of people were very angry about this incident on social media last night, but were those same people out in the wind and rain, keeping Mr. Hogan’s leaflets safe and dry in their pockets? Of course they weren’t”.
Deputy Bannon went on to state that he would also be ordering his helpers to pull down as many of Hogan’s posters as they could, to stop them from losing their colour in the sunlight.