Belfast Telegraph

Fianna Fail plays down impact of planning tribunal appearances

Fianna Fail has played down concerns about the impact on the party of Bertie Ahern's appearances at the Mahon Tribunal.

Party sources claim they are concentrating on getting their team of candidates in place for the next local and European elections.

Fianna Fail in government faces the task of steering the national finances through the economic downturn.

Although some see the party imbued with the arrogance of power it nevertheless knows that its has to lay the groundwork now if it is to regain seats lost in the last local and European elections.

Party strategists also know that it would be better off without the distraction of Bertie Ahern's past and future appearances at the Mahon Tribunal as it begins the task of rejuvenating branches and motivating candidates who will win seats in those elections in 2009.

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