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‘I wasn’t in Clifden’ - Dr Jerry Cowley


'I DON'T PLAY GOLF' Former Mayo TD Jerry Cowley.

Former Independent TD was not at controversial golf dinner despite rumours

Edwin McGreal

Former Mayo TD Dr Jerry Cowley has moved to clarify he was not present at the controversial Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden earlier this month.
Dr Cowley said he has been contacted by many people, including national media, to ask if he was in attendance.
The presence of the name Gerry Crowley at one table seems to have led to considerable confusion.
“I had a call from Prime Time Investigates and from RTÉ Liveline, asking me about being at the golf dinner in Clifden, that there was a name there for a Gerry Crowley. I said, ‘everyone spells my name wrong, my first name is with a J, not a G and there’s no R in my surname.
“It got a good bit of traction actually. My daughter rang the house the night it broke to say my name was being mentioned online and quite a number of people were ringing me asking me about it.
“I even understand some people were putting the word around that I was there! But I wasn’t. I don’t play golf, a walk on the golf course in Mulranny is as far as my golf goes these days. Years ago, I gave it a go. And I think I hit everything on the tee but the actual ball!”

No regrets
In an interview with The Mayo News as part of our What’s Best for the West series, Dr Cowley also reveals he has no regrets about turning down an offer to join the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party when he was elected as an Independent TD for Mayo in 2002.
“I had a big list of stuff which I gave them. And they said, ‘okay, Jerry, that’s all sound’. They said then I had to join the parliamentary party and join Fianna Fáil. I said, ‘no, forget about it. I was elected an independent’. They said, ‘sorry, you have to join the party otherwise, we can’t do business’.
“They said, ‘if you if you don’t join the parliamentary party, we’re gonna take you out next time’. I understood that was a reality, but I was elected as an independent so I wasn’t going to be joining Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael or anyone.
“If I wanted to join them I would have joined them before the election. The price they were asking me to pay with too much. Even if I did join them, how much would they have reneged on?
“I don’t regret it and I made a decision with the best information I had at that particular time. I was elected by the people and I would have to go back and face people again.”