Cope claims Coughlan was not in the loop regarding approaches

A difference of opinion has emerged between Fianna Fail MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher and Tanaiste Mary Coughlan over whether or not Mr Gallagher was asked yesterday by senior Fianna Fail figures to stand in this month's Donegal South West by-election.

He says it's understandable why she was not consulted, as she has to consider her own political situation within the constituency.

Mr Gallagher said senior party figures contacted him on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, but Minster Coughlan said she didn't believe that to be the case.

Pat The Cope Gallagher says the Tanasiste was obviously "not in the loop".........