O'Neill is "no George Lee" says veteran TD

Donegal South-West TD Dinny McGinley has said no comparisons could be made between Fine Gael's media related candidates Dublin South TD George Lee and Donegal South-West by election hopeful, Cllr Barry O'Neill - both of whom work for RTÉ.

On Raid na Gaeltachta on Tuesday last, broadcaster, ine N Churrin asked Deputy McGinley if Fine Gael was making the same mistake nominating RT sports reporter Barry O'Neill to convention as they made with George Lee.

Live on air, Deputy McGinley said this was not the case. He said: "No. There is a vital difference between George Lee and Barry O'Neill in that Cllr Barry O'Neill has already been immersed in politics for years. He understands exactly what politics is all about."

Speaking to the Donegal Democrat yesterday, Deputy McGinley said: "I was asked a question and I answered it. There are three excellent candidates standing at convention and who will be selected is a matter that is completely a matter for convention."

Barry O'Neill works as a sports broadcaster with RT radio while Mr Lee was a high profile economics editor with the national broadcaster before being elected to the Dil.

In relation to Lee's departure Deputy McGinley said: "It's disappointing that he has resigned after such a short time. It was a great boost to the party when he joined and it's disappointing to all of us. He was a big asset, chairman of the party's economics committee and about to be appointed to the front bench with an economic portfolio. He was told that. He's a great economic analyst and a tremendous communicator. He's able to put it all into everyday language and these are important qualities in politics.


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