Longford Westmeath TD James Bannon has gone to ground over accusations the Fine Gael politician sent a mass card to a grieving man’s family despite not knowing the deceased.
Albert Flanagan spoke out last week after receiving the message of sympathy in the post following his brother’s death almost a month ago.
Mr Flanagan, who is from Athlone, hit out at Mr Bannon for signing the card especially when he or his late brother had never crossed paths with the Government backbencher.
“It was a sad enough occasion. Then we get this card from a man who I don’t even know,” said an irate Mr Flanagan last week.
“I don’t know where he lives, I never met the man. I don’t mind any politician knocking at my door looking for a vote, but I think this is disgusting.”
A string of local area representatives turned out at the funeral, something Mr Flanagan appreciated. What he lamented, though, was the actions of Mr Bannon and in particular the arrival of a signed mass card so soon after burying his late brother.
“They (local politicians) were there for the right reason. These are the people you meet every day of the week. I don’t think somebody should stoop to that level. Where does he draw the line? I wonder does he have a card for every occasion,” continued Mr Flanagan.
As he called on Mr Bannon to refrain from carrying out similar practices in the future, the Leader attempted to contact the Legan TD for a response.
Unsuccessful telephone calls were made to Mr Bannon’s mobile phone both last week and on Monday.
Messages left by the Leader went unreturned despite Mr Bannon having spoken to other forms of media about the controversy.
Recalling the events of the past few weeks, Mr Flanagan made one last appeal to Mr Bannon.
“He should stop doing it. I’m sure everyone else who gets one would think the same thing. It has to stop.”