Tuesday 6 December 2016

Ross slams Varadkar for hint at second election

Barry Lennon

Published 05/04/2016 | 02:30

Mr Varadkar's twitter post
Mr Varadkar's twitter post

Shane Ross said the Independent Alliance would not negotiate with Fine Gael "under threat" of another General Election.

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The Dublin-Rathdown TD was criticising Health Minister Leo Varadkar for posting a picture of his campaign posters on Twitter, writing they were "cleaned, counted, stored and ready to be deployed" again after February's vote.

Mr Ross said his group of Independents "would certainly not take that threat" of a second election "seriously" before talking with Fine Gael yesterday.

"We're not going to take that sort of nonsense that there's a General Election threatened to us from Varadkar or anybody else," he said.

"We won't regard that as something we'll respond to positively."

Mr Ross denied that it was "inevitable" there would be another election as TDs prepare to vote for a Taoiseach again tomorrow, when a clear result is not expected.

He and other Independent TDs said they shared the "public's frustration" as government-forming negotiations continue more than a month after the election.

"You'd need the patience of Saint Job to put up with what's going on (with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil) and their refusal to meet until next Wednesday," he added.

Waterford TD John Halligan said the Independent Alliance would not shy away from another General Election this year if it came about.

"We're not afraid of another election," he said. "The people have already spoken. It is unfair to go back to the people and say, 'we don't like how you voted.'"

Meanwhile, Mattie McGrath said Mr Varadkar's tweet was "an attempt to frighten" TDs adding: "Maybe the poll (showing public support for Micheál Martin) might have had something to do with. He might have fancied himself as Taoiseach."

Irish Independent

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