Stephen Donnelly's adviser branded 'Trumpian' after only letting 'hand-picked' journalists attend press conference
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Stephen Donnelly's adviser branded 'Trumpian' after only letting 'hand-picked' journalists attend press conference

THE SPECIAL ADVISER to Ireland's Minister for Health has been compared to Donald Trump after he attempted to stage an invite-only press conference.

Paraic Gallagher, who works for Stephen Donnelly, reportedly contacted a selection of hand-picked journalists, asking them to attend a press briefing on the vaccine rollout.

Mr Gallagher claims he was being overly selective because he only wanted to invite "health correspondents" to the conference.

However, this was not the case, as general news reporters from some outlets received invites, while other outlets were left out completely.

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He was forced to deny that he was being "completely bureaucratic and nonsensical", and when it was put to him that it smacked of Trump-like behaviour, Gallagher responded: "The minister is having a briefing with invited journalists ... that's not Trumpian at all.

"I invited people to a briefing, the invitees can go into the briefing. I invited people to a briefing from the minister. You were not one of those people ... you're not going in," he told uninvited journalists.

Eventually, Mr Gallagher was forced to retract his selective invite, after RTÉ health correspondent Fergal Bowers offered an ultimatum, stressing than "unless the other journalists are allowed in, RTÉ is not going in."