Sunday 23 October 2016

Leo Varadkar on Michael Lowry: 'He has an issue with the law'

Government must not return to 'parish pump deals'

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 26/01/2016 | 10:02

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photo:Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photo:Gareth Chaney Collins
Michael Lowry

Health Minister Leo Varadkar says Independent TD Michael Lowry "has an issue with the law" and that the Government must not return to "parish pump deals".

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In hard hitting remarks this morning, Mr Varadkar warned against any coalition that would have to rely on TDs who are potentially facing future court appearances or spells in prison.

He singled out Mr Lowry as being one of a number of deputies have had brushes with the law in the past.

While admitting that he feels "uncomfortable" about discussing the formation of a future coalition before the election takes place, the Dublin West TD said he does want to see a government dependent on any independent deputy.

"Because if we are back to that we are back to the kind of parish pump deals that existed in the past. Fine Gael has never actually engaged in them, only Fianna Fail has..." Mr Varadkar said.

"So we don't want to go back to that. Of course, last time Michael Lowry was involved in such a deal it involved Fianna Fail. And there are a number of independent TDs who have issues with the law, including Mr Lowry, but others too. And I would hate to see a government being dependent on somebody not having to be in court or potentially being in prison. That is not what we need in this country. I wouldn't like us to be in a position where we would have to depend on any independent or small party," he added.

The remarks by Mr Varadkar will heap pressure on Taoisseach Enda Kenny to rule out the prospect of striking a deal with Mr Lowry, a former Cabinet minister.

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