Gun totting Minister Willie O’Dea verbally abused two people during a pub row over Shannon Airport and offered to fight one of them, it was claimed last night.
John Fahey, chief executive of the Meet Limerick/Shannon conferencing promotion group, and Geraldine Morrissey, spokeswoman for Aer Lingus workers at the airport, are demanding an apology from the minister over the remarks they say he made.
However, Mr O’Dea claimed last night it was he who had been abused and denied he offered to fight.
The row happened after Willie called to South’s pub in Limerick last Saturday night with Tánaiste Brian Cowen. Mr Fahey, a prominent hotelier in the mid-west, was there with his wife and Ms Morrissey.
“Mr O’Dea was there with the Tánaiste,” said Mr Fahey. “Then they both left together. As they did, a number of people said, ‘What about Shannon, what about Shannon?’” A short time later, Mr O’Dea returned.
Mr Fahey said when Mr O’Dea approached their group, Ms Morrissey challenged him over not being present in the Dáil for a vote on the Shannon issue. “She asked him why he did not take part in the Dáil debate,” Mr Fahey said. “He said he was the minister for defence and I said, ‘You did not defend the interests of Shannon very well’.
At that, he turned around and said, ‘Who is that big prick?’ and asked me out saying he would like to hit me. I told him, if he was any bigger I might. He then turned to Geraldine Morrissey and said, ‘I don’t give a fuck about you’.”
Ms Morrissey said she was stunned at Mr O’Dea’s behaviour. However, Mr O’Dea insisted the allegations were “rubbish”. He said he returned to the pub to collect his wife only to be “roundly abused”.
Poor Willie seems to exhibit all the signs of having short man syndrome.
The allegations against Willie came on a bad day for Fianna Fáil.
One of its councillors resigned from the party pending the outcome of a Garda investigation into an allegation that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old boy.